Liberal Senator, former attorney-general, and reluctant fashion icon George Brandis has delivered his valedictory speech, blasting both left- and right-wing populists in a farewell many have read as an attack on Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

In a contradiction that has defined his time at the top of politics, Brandis both re-affirmed his love of free speech and boasted of his record on national security legislation, much of which has targeted acts of speech, including the latest round of anti-espionage laws. (New Attorney-General Christian Porter has now committed ($) to altering some of the most aggressive aspects of the laws but has ruled out blanket exemptions for journalists).