• Hannah Phillips

The Liberal Leadership Spill

The Liberal leadership was spilled this morning in a Liberal Party room meeting.

The Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull chose to declare the leadership and deputy leadership vacant.

A vote for the Leadership was held and the Prime Minister was challenged by the now Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Mr Dutton received 38 votes and the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull received 45 out of the 84 voting members (one member was absent) of the Parliamentary Liberal Party.

As such he remains the leader of the Liberal Party.

The vote was a secret ballot however the 35 who voted for Peter Dutton from sources are:

Peter Dutton, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Assistant Minister for Science Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja, Minister for Trade Steven Ciobo, Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells,Tony Pasin MP, Jason Wood MP, Andrew Hastie MP, Kevin Andrews MP, Senator Eric Abetz, Ted O’Brien, Senator Amanda Stoker, Andrew Wallace MP, Karen Andrews MP, Senator Jim Molan, Luke Howarth MP, Nicole Flint MP, Senator James Paterson, Senator David Bushby, Ross Vasta MP, Ben Morton MP, Assistant Minister to the PM Senator James Mcgrath, Rick Wilson MP, Scott Buchholz MP, Senator David Fawcett, Senator Dean Smith, Ian Goodenough MP, Andrew Laming MP, Senator Jonathan Duniam MP and Burt Van Manen.

The spill for the Deputy Leadership with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop was unchallenged she was re-elected.

It was rumored that Greg Hunt a voter for Mr Dutton would challenge for the Deputy Leadership that didn’t eventuate.

Both the Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs held press conference after the Party Room meeting.

Mr Dutton said he will work for the re-election of the Coalition government but didn’t rule out challenging Prime Minister Turnbull again.

If a challenge were to reoccur it’s likely it will be in the next sitting period between the 10th - 20th of September.

It has been roumoured that Mr Dutton will challenge again this week but it seems unlikely as Peter Dutton will now be assesed over the coming weeks for his skills, background, presentation and agenda.

He will spend the time as he discussed putting forward his own agenda.

A source in addition reports in regard to the former Prime Minister Mr Dutton won’t win the leadership if he was to put former Prime Minster Tony Abbott on his front bench.

A story earlier today said the PM will call an early election which has since been denied by the Prime Minister’s Office.

In regard to Minister’s who voted against the Prime Minister in the Leadership ballot they don’t technically have to resign because the vote was called by the Prime Minister and at the time of the vote the leadership was vacant so they weren’t being disloyal to the leader at the time.

However Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar has since resigned with Mr Dutton who both move to the back bench.

It’s expected there will be further resignations as it is still difficult for Minister’s to continue in their position after publicly admitting they voted for Peter Dutton against the PM.

The Prime Minister in his press conference earlier today said he hadn’t asked any Ministers who voted for Mr Dutton to resign and still wanted his current Ministry team to continue.

Mr Sukkar is also seen as a potential campaign manager for Mr Dutton’s bid for the leadership.

It’s also possible there may be a 3rd challenger as happened in the case of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey on the 1st of December 2009 in a previous leadership challenge.

In this case it may be Julie Bishop but she may not have the conservative numbers.

In the House of Representatives this afternoon the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten asked the House to move a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister he was denied leave to do so, moved a motion to suspend standing orders which was defeated by a vote of 76 to 67 in the 150 seat House of Representatives.

If the Prime Minister is to continue he’ll have to win back the 35 Members of the Liberal Party who voted against him and he has called for unity however this seems unlikely.

The Leader of the Nationals Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack strongly supported the Prime Minister giving a passionate speech to his defence in the House of Representatives.

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