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Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce insists Christian Porter did not act illegally in accepting anonymous donations to fund his libel case against the CBA and says he expects the former Minister of Industry may return to the forefront in the future.

Speaking today in defense of his former cabinet colleague, Mr Joyce used a cricket analogy when he said Mr Porter had “had a bad day at the wicket”, adding that “the problem has been solved”.

The Labor opposition maintains that the former Minister of Industry is still failing in his obligations as an MP.

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has said Christian Porter deserves a second chance if he uses his backbench time well.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Joyce is acting prime minister after Scott Morrison traveled to Washington DC on Monday morning to meet with US President Joe Biden as part of a week-long visit to the United States. After three years in the backbench, Mr. Joyce returned as the leader of the national championships this year after winning a dump motion against Riverina MP Michael McCormack.

Drawing on his own backbench experience, Mr. Joyce said Mr. Porter would have “some time on [his] hands, â€but suggested he could make a comeback to Cabinet if he used that time productively, describing him as an“ incredibly intelligent person â€.

“If he uses [his time] indeed, I think he should have another chance in the future in a higher role.

Mr Porter maintained that he did not believe he had violated ministerial standards and would not resign his seat. He has run for the preselection as Pearce’s Liberal candidate in the upcoming federal election.

The then minister revealed last week that he had used a structure he described as a blind trust to receive and administer donations from anonymous benefactors to help pay his legal bills.

He said at the time that he had “no access to information on the conduct and financing of the trust.”

After resigning from the ministry on Sunday, Mr Porter released a statement saying he had been in contact with the administrators and they had assured him that none of the contributors were lobbyists or banned foreign donors.

He said he was unwilling to disclose the identities of those who helped with the funding in order to protect them from “the social media crowd.”

Mr Porter withdrew his libel action against ABC and reporter Louise Milligan earlier this year after the parties reached a settlement.

Read the full story here.



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