BREAKING: Peter Dutton Has Demanded Another Vote For The Liberal Leadership
It's on. Again.
Update: Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop is now also reportedly considering contesting the leadership, while Malcolm Turnbull has said he will step down if things come to a spill. That leaves us looking at a potential three-way leadership race between Dutton, Morrison and Bishop, but only if a majority of the Liberal Party confirms in writing that they’re keen for a second spill. More on that here.
Update: As of 10:40am, Fairfax Media reports that Treasurer Scott Morrison will also be contesting the leadership of the Liberal Party. It’s not clear yet whether Turnbull will now step aside, or whether this will be a three-way vote, but ScoMo throwing his hat in the ring is really going to add some drama here, potentially swaying quite a few former Dutton or Turnbull supporters.
It’s on. Again. Peter Dutton has confirmed he will challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party for the second time in three days. And this time, it seems like he’s got the numbers.
The former Home Affairs Minister tweeted at 7:45 Thursday morning that he had just spoken to Turnbull to “advise him I believed the majority of the party room no longer supported his leadership”, and asking the PM to convene a party room meeting “at which I would challenge for the leadership”.
A few minutes ago I spoke with Malcolm Turnbull to advise him I believed the majority of the party room no longer supported his leadership. Accordingly, I asked him to convene a party room meeting at which I would challenge for the leadership of the Parliamentary Liberal Party.
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) August 22, 2018
Turnbull has refused Dutton’s request, for all the good that’s likely to do him.
In a very short statement, Dutton confirmed he had asked for a leadership ballot, but offered no more details.
In a subsequent press conference, senior ministers Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash told reporters that they have also advised the Prime Minister that he no longer has the support of the party room. All three have tendered their resignations.
“It’s with great sadness and a heavy heart that we went to see the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon to advise him that in our judgment he no longer enjoyed the support of the majority of members in the Liberal Party party room and that it was in the best interests of the Liberal Party to help manage an orderly transition to a new leader,” said Cormann.
In other words: Turnbull is cooked.
That’s it. Cormann backs Dutton. Dutton will be PM by end of the day.
— David Speers (@David_Speers) August 22, 2018
In a separate statement, Dutton rejected claims that he’s ineligible to sit in Parliament under Section 44 of the constitution, and suggested that the news’ emergence this week was politically motivated.
“Over recent days a spurious and baseless campaign has been conducted against me in relation to an alleged breach of section 44 of the constitution,” he said. “The timing on the eve of current events in Australian politics is curious.”
“There has never been any doubt about my eligibility to sit in the Parliament and I attach the unequivocal legal advice I obtained in 2017 to that effect.”
Grab your umbrellas folks, because it’s going to be a shit show. We’ll keep updating this story as news breaks.