They say a week is a long time in politics. The past few days in Canberra have arguably been the most eventful since the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975.
Following an unsuccessful leadership challenge on Tuesday, Peter Dutton again announced this morning that he would mount a party room challenge. Consequently, three Cabinet Ministers – Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash – all held a media conference announcing that they were no longer supporting Mr Turnbull. The uncertainty that ensued from these and other resignations eventually culminated in parliament being adjourned earlier than expected.
In response the Prime Minister called a press conference at 1pm today in which he outlined his response to the dramatic events.
First, he listed two demands from those seeking to unseat him:
- That the alleged petition of signatories calling for his resignation be presented to him; and
- Advice be sought from the Solicitor-General on the eligibility of Peter Dutton to sit in the parliament following claims that he is in breach of Section 44.
Should both points be satisfied, Mr Turnbull stated that he will call a party room meeting for midday tomorrow to decide the leadership of the Liberal Party and indeed the Prime Ministership of Australia.
If a spill motion against him is successful, he will take this as a vote of no confidence in his leadership and will not contest the subsequent ballot.
In the event of a spill motion it will be a contest between Queensland MP Peter Dutton and the current Treasurer Scott Morrison.
The SAS Group will continue to keep all our friends and clients posted as events are updated.