Australian defense minister says loses portfolio under new PM

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 20, 2015 1:05 AM

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian Defense Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed on Sunday that he had lost his portfolio under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, saying he was disappointed his offer to work with the new Liberal leader had been refused.

Andrews, who joined parliament in 1991, held the defense portfolio for less than a year and had been talked about as one of the most high profile losers in Turnbull's new cabinet, due to be announced later on Sunday.

The removal of Abbott and loyalists such as Andrews is seen as a setback for Japan's bid to win a $35 billion program to build stealth submarines for Australia.

Abbott was ditched on Monday after months of destabilizing infighting and a series of gaffes and perceived policy missteps.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)