Christian Porter denies claims he will quit politics to return to work as a lawyer in Sydney


Christian Porter has dismissed claims he will quit federal politics for good to return to work as a lawyer and settle down with his new girlfriend in Sydney. 

Sources previously stated Mr Porter would announce his intentions to no longer run at the next election as the member for Pearce in his hometown of Perth. 

However, the former attorney-general told Sky News they were false claims. 

It comes less than two months after Mr Porter resigned from cabinet over revelations he accepted an undisclosed donation from a blind trust to pay for his civil lawsuit against the ABC.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Mr Porter stood down as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and would return to the backbench. 

Sources had claimed Mr Porter would announce his departure from politics ahead of the next election, slated to be held next March or May. 

Sources have claimed Mr Porter (pictured) will announce his intentions to no longer run at the next election as the member for Pearce 

Mr Porter's current partner, well-regarded criminal lawyer Karen Espiner, lives in Sydney

Mr Porter’s current partner, well-regarded criminal lawyer Karen Espiner, lives in Sydney

Mr Porter’s rumoured departure from politics follows in the wake of a taxing year that saw him move to sue the ABC over a story that revealed a ‘senior cabinet minister’ was accused of raping a teenage girl.

The Western Australian Liberal Party politician chose to identify himself as the minister days later in February and vehemently denied the allegations that dated back to 1988 when the woman was 16 and he was 17.   

Mr Porter sued the ABC for defamation who in turn added an editorial note to the original article stating it did not intend to suggest Mr Porter had committed the alleged offence. 

The ABC agreed to pay $100,000 towards the cost of mediation to settle the matter, leaving the politician with legal bills estimated to cost $600,000 to $1million. 

After mediation, Mr Porter decided to drop his case against the ABC in May.  

In September Mr Porter revealed that his legal fees were partly paid for by a donation from a blind trust which means the identity of the donor or donors is kept secret.

He then tendered his resignation from cabinet after he refused to reveal the identity of the mystery donors, insisting he didn’t know who they are. 

Mr Porters's (pictured) rumoured departure from politics comes less than two months after he announced his resignation from cabinet

Mr Porters’s (pictured) rumoured departure from politics comes less than two months after he announced his resignation from cabinet

Mr Porter released a 1,600-word-long statement on his resignation that claimed he was subject to a ‘trial by media’ and at the time, announced his intention to remain in politics and contest the next election. 

He said he did not want his donors to become the ‘targets of the social media mob’ and said he had been threatened since the allegations against him came to light. 

‘For me personally, the physical threats of violence, the experience of being spat at and publicly abused for something I didn’t do has been nearly beyond comprehension in a civilised country,’ he said. 

Mr Porter said he does not think he has breached ministerial standards but did not want to be ‘a very unhelpful distraction’ for the coalition government.  

Labor opposition called his willingness to accept money from an unknown source an ‘outrageous abuse of his office’ and his refusal to name the anonymous donors ‘the cover up to end all cover ups’.  

The politician is due to be formally questioned by a parliamentary committee to explain his refusal to disclose the identities of the donors in coming days. 

Mr Porter (pictured with ex-wife Jennifer in 2018) is due to be formally questioned by a parliamentary committee to explain his refusal to disclose the identities of anonymous donors to help pay his outstanding legal fees

Mr Porter (pictured with ex-wife Jennifer in 2018) is due to be formally questioned by a parliamentary committee to explain his refusal to disclose the identities of anonymous donors to help pay his outstanding legal fees

The senior cabinet minister (pictured in March) has vehemently denied historical rape allegations that date back to 1988 when he was 17 years old

The senior cabinet minister (pictured in March) has vehemently denied historical rape allegations that date back to 1988 when he was 17 years old

In June, regarded criminal lawyer Karen Espiner confirmed she was in a relationship with Mr Porter, adding the new coupling was not a secret but a ‘private matter’.  

It came after Ms Espiner was spotted taking romantic strolls along Coogee Beach with the 50-year-old former attorney general. 

The co-founder of local firm Younes + Espiner Lawyers, confirmed that the pair had struck up a romance. 

‘We are in the early stages of a relationship,’ Ms Espiner said in a statement.

‘That relationship has not been a secret but it is a private matter which we do not intend to talk about in any detail.’

Mr Porter split with his ex wife Jennifer in January of 2020 after almost 13 years of marriage. The pair share two children. 

‘It is a mutual decision and no third parties are involved,’ they said.

‘We have been working hard to see what could be possible because first and foremost we are loving parents to two wonderful little children.’ 

Mr Porter split with his ex wife Jennifer in January of 2020 after almost 13 years of marriage. The pair share two children (pictured, the former couple in 2019)

Mr Porter split with his ex wife Jennifer in January of 2020 after almost 13 years of marriage. The pair share two children (pictured, the former couple in 2019)

In March, the former attorney general outed himself as the senior minister accused of the historical rape allegation during a tearful press conference. 

‘The things that have been claimed to happen did not happen,’ he said. 

‘I did not sleep with the [alleged] victim. We didn’t have anything of that nature happen between us. 

‘The things I have read did not happen. And to suggest that they could be forgotten is ridiculous, they just never happened.’

Following Mr Porter’s press conference, the ABC said it does not ‘regret’ the article.

A spokeswoman said: ‘The ABC has never and still does not accept that the article suggested guilt on the part of Mr Porter.

‘The article was not “sensationalist”. It was an accurate and factual report on a letter that had been sent to the Prime Minister and two other senior politicians.’   

The accuser, who struggled with her mental health for years, told police about her allegation in February last year.

The woman, who has been named only as Kate, took her own life in June. NSW Police closed their investigation into the matter in March.  

The rape allegation: A timeline

1988: Debating competition in Sydney at which woman later alleges she was raped

2013: Woman tells sexual assault counsellor about her allegation

Late 2019: Woman engages lawyers and prepares a statement

February 2020: Woman reports allegations to NSW Police

March 2020: Police postpone trip to visit her due to Covid-19

June 2020: Woman withdraws allegation and dies by suicide

February 24, 2021: Anonymous letter is sent to PM detailing allegations

March 1, 2021: PM says minister completely rejects the allegations

March 2, 2021: NSW Police close the case

March 3, 2021: Christian Porter goes public to deny allegation

March 15, 2021: Mr Porter sues the ABC for defamation

March 29, 2021: Following the fallout from the alleged scandal, Mr Porter is removed as attorney-general in a ‘cabinet reshuffle’ and shifted into the less high-profile Industry, Science and Technology portfolio

May 31, 2021: Mr Porter drops his case

June 25, 2021: A bombshell dossier detailing the woman’s alleged ordeal is published online by the Federal Court

September, 14: It is revealed that Mr Porter’s legal bills were footed by anonymous donors in a blind Trust, sparking a furious media scandal

September, 19: Mr Porter steps down as as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology over the ‘perceived conflict of interest’ of accepting money from unknown sources

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