Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Kym Smith
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Kym Smith

Labor ‘conspiracy’ fuels drama

SCOTT Morrison's goverment is less than a week old but his days as the Prime Minister of Australia could already be numbered if Labor has anything to say about it.

As he seeks to unite his party torn apart by the leadership spill that shot him unexpectedly to power, Mr Morrison will also have to deal with outside threats to his leadership.

According to 9News a Labor campaign is under way to cut the PM's time short.

According to the publication, senior Liberal sources admitted they "were aware Labor will do anything to bring the government down, and force an early election".

"The insider said the opposition is planning to target coalition MPs to force them out, and jeopardise the government numbers in the House of Reps."

Those in the firing line include Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, embroiled in his visa scandal, and newly-appointed Assistant Treasuer Stuart Robert.

Mr Dutton has spent the afternoon denying claims he misused his power as minister to give three Au Pairs visas, labelling the allegations "completely ridiculous".

But as senior Liberal sources told 9News, Mr Dutton's Au Pair drama is just one of the battles the Opposition is waging in an attempt to bring down the Liberal Party.

Earlier today, Labor publicly lashed Mr Robert for his comments on the financial sector when he said further banking scandals were "inevitable".

Mr Roberts has spent the past three years in the sin-bin after he was forced to quit the ministry for breaching ministerial standards.

Stuart Robert, Assistant Treasurer, is reportedly on Labor’s hit list. Picture: Gary Ramage
Stuart Robert, Assistant Treasurer, is reportedly on Labor’s hit list. Picture: Gary Ramage

The government could also potentially lose its majority by October 6 after the Mr Turnbull said he'd be gone from parliament by Friday.

If the Liberals lose Wentworth, the Coalition will hold 74 lower house seats and will rely on Nationals MP Kevin Hogan and Bob Katter as deciding votes.

Dumping Mr Turnbull as PM has also smashed the Liberal vote and looks set to hand Bill Shorton an easy election victory.

Newspoll has Bill Shorten as more popular than Mr Morrison, 39 per cent to 33 per cent, after the Labor leader trailed Mr Turnbull in the previous poll by 12 points.

"I don't think any of us here needed an opinion poll to tell us how angry, confused and annoyed Australians are with the Government," Mr Shorten told reporters yesterday.

"The Morrison government still hasn't told us why Morrison is the prime minister."


The Labor party is in a favoured position. Picture: Daniel Pockett
The Labor party is in a favoured position. Picture: Daniel Pockett


Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has less than three days left in parliament after he said he was quitting on Friday, a move that triggers a by-election for his seat of Wentworth.

The long list of potential candidates is growing with Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster one of the people throwing her hat in the ring.

But Mr Turnbull's decision to step down so quickly after losing the top job hasn't sat well with some of his fellow politicians - especially Barnaby Joyce.

Earlier today, the former National Party leader said he believes people are "really disappointed" in Mr Turnbull for quitting instead of sitting on the back bench.

The backbencher argued it would be "more honourable" for Mr Turnbull to serve out his term on the back bench alongside him.

"You leave on the right terms with the electorate and the right terms with your nation," Mr Joyce told Sunrise.

"But it's a contractual relationship. If people are going to support you, and you realise you've got a one-seat majority, you can't at the first opportunity put that one-seat majority in jeopardy because you've decided you're no longer the prime minister.

"To say 'oh well I'm not the prime minister anymore ho hum, you guys might lose government' - the government that he led - I think people are really disappointed with him about that."

Mr Turnbull explained his decision in a letter overnight, taking a none-too-subtle swipe at Tony Abbott.

"As you know, I have always said that the best place for former prime ministers is out of the parliament, and recent events demonstrate why," Mr Turnbull wrote.

But he said he didn't want to dwell on the "shocking and shameful events of last week - a pointless week of madness that disgraced our parliament and appalled our nation".

Liberals are lining up to replace him in the blue ribbon eastern Sydney seat, with Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster among those putting her name forward.

Business Council of Australia executive director Andrew Bragg resigned his post on Tuesday morning to run for preselection in Wentworth.

"I thank Jennifer Westacott, the staff and members for the opportunity. Under the party's rules, I am unable to make further comment on the preselection," he posted to social media.

Dave Sharma, Australia's former ambassador to Israel, has also entered the race.

Mr Abbott, who helped orchestrate Mr Turnbull's demise, endorsed his sister to replace his arch-nemesis.

Ms Forster, a City of Sydney councillor, said she had a strong record of championing Liberal Party values at a local government level.

"I think as someone with local credentials and a strong track record of strong liberalism, I feel they are the types of candidates we want in any seat," she told AAP.

Mr Turnbull comfortably held the blue-ribbon seat of Wentworth with a margin of 17.7 per cent at the 2016 election.

Labor's candidate for the seat, local businessman Tim Murray, has earned praise from a potentially surprising source - Mr Turnbull's Singapore-based son.

NSW independent MP Alex Greenwich has confirmed he will not run as an independent in the seat, while GP Kerryn Phelps is still considered a tilt.


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