G7: Australia PM Scott Morrison remembers Cornish ancestor

image copyrightEPAimage captionMr Morrison said it would be "interesting" to go back to Cornwall

Australia's prime minister has spoken about one of the darker moments of his ancestry, as he prepares to attend the G7 summit in the UK.

Scott Morrison said his great grandfather was on one of the first transport ships to arrive in Australia, after being convicted of stealing yarn.

William Roberts was from Cornwall, the English county where the summit is taking place this weekend.

Australia has been invited as a guest to the Carbis Bay talks.

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At a speech ahead of the summit in Perth, Western Australia, on Wednesday, Mr Morrison, spoke of his "fifth great grandfather".

"It's a long time since one of my family was in Cornwall," he said.

"He came out on the First Fleet, on the Scarborough. He stole some yarn in Cornwall and the rest is history.

"More than 200 years of it, so it'll be interesting to be going back there."

Australia's AAP news agency reported that the man was William Roberts, born in 1755, who was convicted at Bodmin assizes in 1786.

He arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 on the Scarborough, one of 11 ships in the so-called First Fleet.

He gained a solid reputation for his carpentry skills, the agency added.

Mr Morrison is related to Edward Roberts, William's youngest child from his marriage to a fellow convict.

The date of the First Fleet's arrival, seen as the start of Australia's colonisation by white settlers, is now celebrated as Australia Day.

It is highly controversial and has been branded by critics as "Invasion Day", with Indigenous groups campaigning to change the date of the national holiday.

But polls suggest most Australians favour keeping it.

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