Australia's Julie Bishop to retire from politics

Prime Minister Scott Morrison led the tributes to Julie Bishop after she announced she would not re-contest

Camera Icon Prime Minister Scott Morrison led the tributes to Julie Bishop after she announced she would not

But Ms Bishop, Australia's first female foreign minister and one of the Coalition's most popular figures, declared unequivocally that the Morrison government would be returned at the May election based on the economy and border protection.

Former deputy leader of the Liberal Party and perennial candidate for leader Julie Bishop has announced she will not be contesting her seat at the next election.

She's also indicated her personal preference to make sure that the next politician to take her seat of Curtin in Western Australia, is a woman, and has claimed that she has already been contacted by party members looking to do just that.

Ms Bishop said a number of "extraordinarily talented" people, including women, had contacted her about running in the West Australian seat if she made a decision to stand down.

The news is not necessarily surprising.

Prior to that, she was deputy leader of the Liberal Party under Malcolm Turnbull.

The source said Ms Bishop's reputation would be tarnished if she tried to torpedo a vote of grassroots party members if it was apparent she couldn't win it.

Bishop's plans for the future have yet to be announced - but it'd be a safe bet to suggest a memoir might be forthcoming, following a recent trend.

Mr Turnbull said Julie Bishop had been Australia's "finest foreign minister".

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Bishop has served as a political figure for almost two decades, including as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 2007-2018.

"I was brought up to believe that entering public office should be one of the highest callings", she said.

"Julie's judgment, determination and energy helped secure a United Nations Security Council resolution that ensured Australia and its partners could repatriate the victims of that awful crime", Morrison said.

"I have valued her judgement, appreciated her insight and admired the tireless way she has served the party, the parliament and Australia", he said in a statement.

MBishop's successor as foreign minister, Marise Payne, choked back tears as she talked about Australia's high status in the worldwide community.

It was speculated after she went to the backbench that if the Liberals were in opposition after the election, Bishop could become leader, although this did not seem a likely prospect.

"Prime Minister Abbott will remember that very much, because of his fierce passion about that event and the bad tragedy and murder that it was". I saw firsthand how she would show up for the families and it was real, it was authentic in that grief and bewilderment.

"We've got two important relationships, the United States and China and in both cases the relationships hit a low ebb under her stewardship so probably the lesson is to have less interest in fashion and more interest in sound foreign policy", he said. "But I also saw her steely determination in worldwide forums to pursue justice and she was very strong".

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