Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he has no regrets about his decision to serve his country despite the “painful cost” of being in politics.
In his first TV interview since losing the May 21 federal election, Mr Morrison spoke to Sky News Australia’s Paul Murray about his time away from his wife Jenny and their daughters Abbey and Lilly, where the time spent with the family has been suspended.
“It’s the cost and it’s a big cost and it’s a painful cost, it’s a painful cost for them and for those who do it as politicians,” he said.
“But as Tony Abbott used to say we’re volunteers, they’re conscripts and that’s probably one of the truest things Tony has ever said and very wise.
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“So you deeply regret their cost, that’s what hurts the most.”
Eldest daughter Abbey was born just months before Mr Morrison first entered Parliament as a Cook Liberal MP in 2007.
Mr Morrison noted that Abbey and Lily have “lived their whole lives with me in Parliament”, most of it spent while he was in government.
They were both in primary school when he became prime minister in August 2018.
Mr Morrison, who has pledged to remain in Parliament until at least the next federal election, acknowledged that being in politics meant there were ‘I will never be back’ moments.
“I don’t regret for a second the choices I made to serve my country in politics and neither does Jenny and neither does my family,” he said.
“We have all paid this price with joy and joy even though it is a cost.
“But at the same time you can’t be silly not to understand that you can’t pretend it’s not there, it’s there, it’s real and there are times I’ll never go back .”
In the days after his election defeat on May 21, Mr Morrison revealed how he was ‘looking forward’ to spending more time with his family.
He told Mr Murray his most important job was as a husband and as a father.
“You just have to keep doing everything you can to keep those ties as strong as possible,” Mr Morrison said.
“And now I have a better opportunity to do that, that’s the opportunity that sometimes comes along, what a disappointment to obviously lose an election.
“But at the same time, life goes on and my most important job is as a husband and as a father.”
Last month, Mr Morrison asked the media not to invade his family’s privacy again at a press conference where he defended his decision to appoint himself to five secret ministerial portfolios while Prime Minister.
“As an MP, of course, I am responsible…but my family members have nothing to do with it,” he said.
“I would love the cameras that set up in front of my house every day and film my wife and daughters going to school or going for coffee or if they would like to have friends or tradesmen come over – they have nothing to do with this.
“So out of respect…I would ask you not to invade my family’s privacy.” I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.”