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‘The PM should have called that meeting’ : Craig Kelly on Liberal leadership woes

Luke Grant

The Liberal Party is now bracing for a three-way-battle to determine who will be Prime Minister.

With Peter Dutton, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop set to contest the leadership, a defiant Turnbull is demanding to see a 43 signature public petition before he will call a party room meeting to deal with a leadership challenge. If this materialises, the prime minister has told Dutton he’ll bring on a leadership spill today at midday.

Reportedly, Dutton has reached the 43 signatures required.

But an aggrieved Craig Kelly isn’t happy that Turnbull didn’t face the leadership opposition music yesterday.

“We should have been able to resolve this situation on Thursday,” says Kelly.

“We should have been able to have a party room meeting to decide the leadership. Unfortunately, the PM decided that wasn’t going to happen. Parliament was suspended for the afternoon.”

“I was very uncomfortable. The normal precedent is when there has been a leadership challenge, the parliament would be suspended for an hour, then the vote would occur.”

“That should have been what happened yesterday, when three very senior cabinet ministers told the PM they no longer had confidence.”

“The PM should have called that meeting. It was a very bad look, it should have never happened.”

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Luke Grant