Steve Ciobo says he will stand down at next election - with Christopher Pyne ...

Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo confirms he will stand down at the next election - with Christopher Pyne expected to follow suit Defence Industry Minister Steve Ciobo confirms he will retire from politics He is now the fifth cabinet minister to be announcing he would quit politics  'I've always said that politics is a means not an end,' Mr Ciobo said on Friday  Defence Minister Christopher Pyne tipped to confirm retirement at next election 

By Lauren Ferri and Stephen Johnson For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 08:32 GMT, 1 March 2019 | Updated: 08:32 GMT, 1 March 2019

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Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo has confirmed he is going to stand down and retire from politics at the next election.

Cabinet colleague Defence Minister Christopher Pyne is also expected to announce his intention to leave politics on Saturday and won't re-contest his South Australian seat of Sturt.

The confirmation comes after weeks of speculation, with Mr Ciobo telling The Australian he's ready to move on to something else.

'I've always said that politics is a means not an end. Now is the time to do something else,' Mr Ciobo said.

Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo (pictured) has confirmed he is going to stand down and retire from politics at the next election

Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo (pictured) has confirmed he is going to stand down and retire from politics at the next election

'I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving my country as trade minister and the contribution I got to make, in particular with the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Indonesian Free Trade agreement.'

Mr Ciobo, the defence industry minister and an 18-year parliamentary veteran, tweeted on Friday he was looking forward to travelling to Indonesia within days to sign a landmark free trade agreement.

But The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday the Gold Coast-based Liberal MP was ready to quit.

The Queenslander was demoted from the trade portfolio after the August leadership spill when he ran for deputy.

A Queensland Liberal National Party source told AAP he would be 'surprised' if Mr Ciobo retired from parliament as he was very active in fundraising for the election campaign.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was asked on Friday if he expected any other frontbench colleagues to resign and he replied: 'No.'

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