Julie Bishop resigns as Australian foreign affairs minister

Bishop remained determinedly loyal to Malcolm Turnbull

The announcement followed the forced resignation of Malcolm Turnbull on Friday and the appointment of his replacement, Scott Morrison, the sixth prime minister to take office in a little over a decade.

Bishop announced she would move to the backbench and had not yet decided whether to contest the next election, which is due by May 2019.

They are just two examples of the very public, and private, globetrotting work Ms Bishop did during her five years as foreign affairs minister.

She had been foreign minister since 2013 and was replaced by former defence minister Marise Payne in the new Cabinet line-up announced by Mr Morrison after Ms Bishop resigned.

So it says something of the mad cannibalism of the past week that not only did the Liberal Party chew up Mr Turnbull, but it also then rejected its second-best chance in Ms Bishop.

She has served on parliamentary committees for Agriculture and Industry, Indigenous Affairs, Infrastructure and Communications, and Northern Australia.

He had backed fellow conservative Peter Dutton who lost his chance at the top job when he was overtaken by Scott Morrison, who was sworn in as prime minister on Friday.

Mr Morrison revealed that "more women have been appointed to Cabinet and the portfolios of Small Business" and "Industrial Relations have been returned to Cabinet level".

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"Be aware that this is a ruse trying to get her ahead of Morrison so he drops out and his votes to Dutton".

She had sought the prime minister's job after Malcolm Turnbull stood aside, but was eliminated in the first round.

Leaked screenshots from the group titled "friends for stability" allege Mathias Cormann, whose support of Mr Dutton was pivotal in enabling the leadership spill, had secured votes for Ms Bishop in order to keep Mr Morrison out of the race.

A moderate, she reportedly garnered only 11 votes out of 85 in the leadership ballot - significantly lower than Dutton and Morrison. None of the votes came from West Australians.

"In the end, she was a victim of tactics and I suppose that helps to explain why she's less than impressed with her colleagues", he said.

Those in the running include Christine Forster, a well-known Liberal councillor in Sydney and the sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott, as well as former diplomat Dave Sharma, who was the Australian ambassador to Israel before moving to the private sector.

She has made no decision on whether she will stand at the next election.

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