Aus­tralia’s Prime Min­is­ter backs Queen to re­main as head of state

Yorkshire Post - - ROYAL WEDDING -

AUS­TRALIA’S PRIME Min­is­ter has voiced his strong sup­port for main­tain­ing the Queen as the coun­try’s head of state, declar­ing a pic­ture of her is “back up in the PM’s of­fice”.

Scott Mor­ri­son said he has a “lot of re­spect for the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy”, ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex’s ar­rival on their first ma­jor over­seas tour as a royal cou­ple.

Mr Mor­ri­son, who is nick­named “ScoMo” in his home coun­try, is due to ac­com­pany Harry when he climbs Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge to raise the flag of his Invictus Games.

The role of the Queen as Aus­tralia’s head of state and the coun­try’s re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tain are a con­tin­u­ous source of vig­or­ous de­bate there.

The for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, who once cam­paigned for the Aus­tralian Repub­lic Move­ment, is re­ported to have re­moved a por­trait of the Queen from his of­fice when he took over from the avowed monar­chist Tony Ab­bott in 2015.

Mr Mor­ri­son re­placed Mr Turn­bull af­ter he was de­posed in a party coup in Au­gust.

“It was one of the things Mal­colm and I dis­agreed on, but look, I re­spect how all Aus­tralians feel on this,” Mr Mor­ri­son said on TV.

“It’s not some­thing I go around beat­ing my chest about. It’s just I’ve got a lot of re­spect for the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy, and if it ain’t broke, I don’t see the need to fix it.

“But I re­spect all Aus­tralians’ views on that and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing (Harry and Meghan).”

Mr Mor­ri­son said he ex­pects Harry will sum­mit the Har­bour Bridge “a bit quicker” than he will, adding: “You’ll see me huff­ing and pant­ing at the top. It won’t be a good look.”

Harry and Meghan will land in Aus­tralia on Tues­day to be­gin a three-week tour of the re­gion, which will in­clude vis­its to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

Mr Mor­ri­son had pre­vi­ously said in a state­ment: “Their visit will be an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote the in­cred­i­ble achieve­ments of Invictus ath­letes from around the world, and show­case Aus­tralian pro­grammes pro­mot­ing youth lead­er­ship, en­vi­ron­men­tal and con­ser­va­tion ef­forts.”

SCOTT MOR­RI­SON: ‘It’s just I’ve got a lot of re­spect for the con­sti­tu­tional monar­chy.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.