A tearful Scott Morrison has admitted to a “very difficult” time in recent years during a speech delivered at his church this morning.
Following a crushing defeat, the outgoing prime minister last night confirmed he would be stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party.
Addressing a Horizon Church service this morning, Morrison was emotional while speaking.
“I’m very pleased the last thing I say as a Prime Minister is here,” he told the congregation.’
“The last election, we really understood that it was for such a time as this. Now we both know it was for such a time as that.
“It has been a very difficult walk, I have got to tell you, over the last four years.
“God calls us, if you are a prime minister, pastor, running a business, teaching in schools, working in the police force. It doesn’t matter.
“We are called to trust and obey.
“That is the life of faithfulness. We live our faith each and every day.”
While Morrison confirmed he would handover the party leadership, he suggested he would remain in politics after being re-elected in Cook.
This morning, former Labor adviser and journalist Sean Kelly said he can see Morrison staying in parliament.
“There was something in Scott Morrison’s speech last night that almost suggested he’d come back in the future,” Kelly told Weekend Today.
“He said the right things, he said them quickly, he certainly didn’t concede anything that could be held against him in future so there was some part in the back of my mind that thought he’s thinking about the future already.
“I think Scott Morrison, for all his faults, is sincere when he says he wants to serve the community, so I can see him staying in parliament.”
How Morrison conceded defeat
Speaking at a function in Sydney’s Fullerton Hotel, Morrison said as leader of the party he takes responsibility for its “wins and losses”.
He added he was proud of the policies he delivered while in government.
He said he would hand over the leadership at the next party room meeting as that would be the “appropriate thing to do”.
“On a night like tonight it is appropriate to acknowledge the functioning of our democracy,” Morrison said.
“I have always believed in Australians and their judgment and I have always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict.
“I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party and I wish him and the Labor Party and I wish him and his government all the very best.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has “imposed a heavy price” on Australia but said he “still believes in miracles”.
“There is another great miracle which I want to give thanks for tonight and that is the miracle of the Australian people,” he said.
“What Australians have endured over these past few years has shown a tremendous depth of character and resilience and strength and each and every day I have had the great privilege to lead this nation over the last more than three-and-a-half years.
“And the one thing I have always counted on has been the strength and resilience and character of the Australian people.”
Morrison said while the bruising election defeat was a “difficult time” for Liberal and Nationals supporters, he has no doubt that Australia is stronger as a result of his leadership.
“Tonight it is a night of disappointment for Liberals and Nationals but it is also a time for Coalition members and supporters all across the country to hold their heads high,” he said.
“We have been a strong government. We have been a strong government. We have been a good government.
“Australia is stronger as a result of our efforts over these last three terms.”