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Australia PM loses ministers in leadership battle

24 August, 2018, 05:13 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • BREAKING: Malcolm Turnbull to STAND DOWN if second leadership vote goes ahead

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull could be ousted from office as he faces a leadership challenge from Liberal Party rival Peter Dutton.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated he plans to hold a party meeting on Friday if a majority of his ruling conservative Liberal Party lawmakers want it.

Sources say Ms Bishop won't command almost enough votes to prevail in an open ballot, with even the majority of her WA colleagues - with the exception of Ian Goodenough, Melissa Price, Linda Reynolds and Nola Marino - set to vote against her. WA MPs Steve Irons and Ben Morton are understood to be backing Scott Morrison, with the rest set to fall in behind Mr Dutton.

"What began as a minority has by a process of intimidation persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give in to it", he said. I have never done that.

Turnbull also confirmed if he loses the prime ministership, he will resign from the parliament.

Mr Turnbull said the public would be "crying out for an election" once the dust settled.

I saw him actually say "Look I agree with you guys" - that was the more conservatives - "but I'm going with them" - and there was a bit of shock in the room - "because I think that's what Australia thinks".

"We will not be taking the tax cuts for larger companies to the next election", he told reporters in Canberra. I'm not aware of anyone changing their vote.

Opposition lawmakers reacted with outrage when the government shut down Parliament hours early so that Liberal Party lawmakers could focus on their leadership crisis.

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Dutton late on Thursday published his own legal advice but should Australia's Solictor-General raise concerns, the leadership prospects for the senior Cabinet minister would be severely dented.

"The Liberal Party, whatever it does today and tomorrow, is irreparably split", Shorten said.

"No government in living memory has dissembled so much that they decided the Parliament couldn't meet", opposition lawmaker Tony Burke told Parliament before the motion passed. The coalition has yet to select many candidates. Such a petition was being compiled, according to local media, although it remained unclear how many signatures he had gathered.

He also said: "I made it very clear that I believe former Prime Ministers are best out of the Parliament".

The vote to refer Dutton to the High Court was defeated 69 votes to 68 in the House of Representatives before it adjourned.

"However, while that risk can not be entirely discounted, it would remain necessary for the Court to identify an agreement in which Mr Dutton held that interest", Mr Donaghue said in legal advice released on Friday.

Donaghue said Dutton's case was impossible to predict because the facts are "unlike those that have previously been assessed" by the high court and there is "significant division" on the court about section 44 (v).

The former home affairs minister will find out before midday on Friday if he is eligible to sit in parliament, after Malcolm Turnbull asked the solicitor- general to reveal if Mr Dutton has a case to answer.



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