Australian prime minister declares leadership open: spokesman

Mindy Sparks
August 21, 2018

Mr Dutton resigned from Cabinet after the vote and will move to the backbench, triggering a ministerial reshuffle. Turnbull survived a leadership challenge earlier on Tuesday.

Following increasing pressure on his leadership and a series of public and confusing capitulations on federal energy policy, Turnbull announced to a Liberal party room meeting in Canberra that he was vacating the leadership, paving the way for a vote.

"Surely there are some people in the WA federal Liberal party who are pretty disturbed and anxious about the infighting", he said.

Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted by his deputy Julia Gillard in 2010.

Mr Turnbull won the ballot 48 to 35, leaving the party divided, and his position seemingly untenable.

Since 2007, no Australian leader has succeeded in serving a full three-year term as prime minister.

Turnbull called the vote at a meeting of conservative Liberal Party lawmakers as speculation mounted about his support within the government.

"We know that instability undermines the ability of any government to get anything done". Turnbull replied, "I can't agree with you there and the results of the ballot today demonstrate it".

In a later interview with Sky News, Mr Dutton would not answer direct questions on whether he would challenge again. "We are seeing the strongest economic growth we have had for a long time, and a year ago was the strongest jobs growth in the history of the country". "If it looks like there's another attempt to dislodge him, he could try to lock his leadership in by taking the coalition to an election", said Nick Economou, senior lecturer in politics at Monash University in Melbourne.

Speaking moments after Turnbull, Dutton thanked his Liberal Party colleagues for their support and gave a nod to the staff within the Department of Home Affairs, describing it as a "serious business" in which he had to make "tough decisions in the best interests of all Australians".

Standing up for a press conference, Dutton opened with: "It is good to be in front of the cameras where I can smile and maybe showed a different side to what I show when I talk about border protection".

"He has given me his absolute support", Turnbull said of Dutton. "I believe that Malcolm Turnbull is the right person to lead us to the next election".

"I respect the outcome and I fully support the prime minister and the cabinet".

By June 2013, he brought her down with a second challenge, prevailing 57 votes to 45 after Labor's primary vote in Newspoll had fallen to a dangerously low 29 per cent.

Mr Dutton has been in charge of Australia's immigration policy that has resulted in hundreds of New Zealanders living in Australia being deported back has been a source of tension between the two countries home.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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