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The woman who sacked former Prime Minister Scott Morrison from Tourism Australia has finally opened up about the mysterious end to his time there and shared how she was “gobsmacked” that he went on to become PM.

Mr Morrison’s firing from Tourism Australia in 2006 has long been shrouded in mystery, but Fran Bailey – who was Tourism Minister at the time and ordered the Chair of Tourism Australia to fire Mr Morrison – has now spoken about the decision in a brutal interview with the Sunday Age.

Ms Bailey reportedly chose to finally speak on the record after she was left incensed by the revelations that Mr Morrison secretly swore himself into five additional ministerial positions while he was Prime Minister.

“What has changed my mind is that all of those characteristics that make up Scott Morrison – the secrecy… the supreme belief that only he can do a job, the lack of consultation with those closest to him – those characteristics were evident 16 years ago, and perhaps we’re seeing the end result of those now,” she told the paper’s longtime columnist, Jon Faine.

Echoing a common criticism of Mr Morrison, Ms Bailey said he took a bullying approach to his work, which eventually led to those in senior positions having less trust that he could do his job.

“It came down to a complete lack of trust. It’s not something that I have stewed over for all those 16 years, but I certainly have become very concerned as he worked his way through the ministry, and I was gobsmacked when he became prime minister,” she said.

“Because I knew what he was really like to work with, and I think that’s been a tragedy for the Liberal Party and it has been a tragedy for our nation.”

Ms Bailey is one of many critics calling on Mr Morrison to leave Parliament following the revelations, as former High Court judge Virginia Bell is expected to head an inquiry into his actions and hand down a report on November 25.

The inquiry will examine Mr Morrison’s ministerial appointments and the functioning of departments, government business enterprises and statutory bodies.

It comes after advice released last week from Australia’s solicitor-general found that Mr Morrison didn’t break any laws, but that his actions undermined the principles of “responsible government”.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.