Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott: Politics in Australia gets messy
Calls for Abbott to quit Why Turnbull was dumped ScoMo ‘worked the phones’ Claims of threats, intimidation New leaders hit the ground running ‘Same old party, new leader’ Turnbull to quit within days What’s next for Bishop? What Trump said to ScoMo Dutton’s seat in danger Weird impact of leadership change ‘Bring back Tony Abbott Morrison to focus on drought response ScoMo’s connection to Lara Bingle Liberals face cash shortage Dutton backer meets ScoMo SCOTT Morrison became the new prime minster of Australia on Friday but the turmoil has continued into the weekend.
Peter Dutton has denied he’s a “wrecker” a day after losing the Liberal leadership battle, but he’s choosing his words carefully.
Seven News reporter Simon Love tracked Mr Dutton down in Brisbane on Saturday and asked him directly if he was responsible for taking down the former PM.
“Malcolm Turnbull yesterday was referring to some of the ‘wreckers’. Are you one of them?” Love asked.
“No,” Mr Dutton responded. “I’m very proud of the actions that we’ve taken.”
Then he took a stab at Mr Turnbull, saying “we were on our way to an anihilation” at the next election and, significantly, Australia now has a man that’s “honourable” and who “will do well for our country”.
. @PeterDutton_MP is back home in Brisbane – his exclusive interview with 7 News reporter @SimoLove . https://t.co/dIKIXO6M9c #auspol #7News pic.twitter.com/WqhjxcSukB
— 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) August 25, 2018 Mr Turnbull’s outgoing speech on Friday referred to wreckers who had tried to undermine him and “if not bring down the Government, then bring down my prime ministership”.
“I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty, how the insurgents were not rewarded,” he said, moments after Mr Dutton had not been rewarded.
Mr Dutton told the ABC on Friday that he doesn’t regret his decision to run for PM “at all”.
DUTTON BACKER MEETS SCOMO
Senator Mathias Cormann backed Peter Dutton in Friday’s leadership battle, helping to force Malcolm Turnbull out as prime minister.
But on Saturday, he sat down with the new Liberal Leader Scott Morrison in Canberra.
The PM posted a picture of the pair meeting in Parliament House, on a busy first day in the top job.
Mr Morrison is expected to finalise the make-up of his cabinet this weekend, but speculation is firming that Mr Cormann will retain the finance portfolio.
He has invited Mr Dutton to remain in the Home Affairs portfolio, he said yesterday, and in a bid to smooth over relations with conservatives, the PM is expected to elevate Alan Tudge or Angus Taylor to the frontbench.
First day as Prime Minister and getting on with the job. Meeting with the Deputy PM @M_McCormackMP , my colleague @MathiasCormann , National Drought Coordinator Major General Stephen Day and Chief of the Defence Force General @CDF_Aust . pic.twitter.com/ZeJUxTfx1R
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) August 25, 2018 LIBERALS FACE CASH SHORTAGE
During the last Federal Election, Malcolm Turnbull poured $1 million of his own money into the Liberal Party’s coffers.
It was running out of cash and needed more to continue waging war against Labor, in one of the longest campaigns in history.
Now that he’s out as prime minister, that kind of generosity probably won’t be seen again.
But also, Fairfax Media reports that a string of lucrative fundraisers, which were to have been headlined by Mr Turnbull, have been cancelled after yesterday’s leadership challenge.
It revealed that a number of MPs had raised very little ahead of the next poll.
Those two combined put the Liberals at risk of running short on cash again.
media_camera Ousted PM Malcolm Turnbull takes his fundraising pull with him. Picture: Kym Smith SCOMO’S CONNECTION TO LARA BINGLE
It was the controversial advertising campaign that introduced the world to a young model named Lara Bingle back in 2006.
The then 19-year-old from Cronulla starred in Tourism Australia’s massive push to lure foreigners to our shores.
But the ads, which cost a whopping $180 million dollars, were banned in the United Kingdom and Canada, and had to be redubbed in Singapore, thanks to Ms Bingle’s now-iconic catchcry: “So where the bloody hell are you?”
And Scott Morrison was the boss of Tourism Australia who signed off on the campaign.
media_camera Lara Bingle in a still from the 2006 “Where the bloody hell are you?” Tourism Australia advertisement. media_camera The ad campaign was panned but it propelled Lara Bingle to stardom.
There was intense scrutiny of the campaign and claims that distracted it from the ultimate goal of presenting the country as a desirable destination.
It sparked endless parodies and didn’t lead to an uptick in visitor numbers, but it propelled Ms Bingle to stardom.
She became an in-demand model, graced the covers of countless magazines, starred in her own reality series and married Hollywood star Sam Worthington.
The ad that gave her a start didn’t fare nearly as well.
Where the bloody hell are you? Within months of it hitting screens around the globe, Mr Morrison was out of a job thanks in part to a bitter falling out with the Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.
The following year he was preselected for the Liberal Party in the Sydney seat of Cook.
And a few years after, tourism officials dumped the “Where the bloody hell are you?” tagline for the much safer “There’s nothing like Australia”.
MORRISON TO FOCUS ON DROUGHT RESPONSE
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with the National Drought Co-ordinator, Major General Stephen Day in Canberra.
It came with a pledge that “all of the resources of government at all levels” would be directed to assisting communities across Australia’s east battling with the ongoing drought .
Mr Morrison’s first official trip as PM will be to Queensland next week to visit farmers doing it tough.
“I’m from the city. I’m not pretending to know one end of a sheep from the other, but I do know that people are hurting,” he said.
“We’ve got a job here to do to co-ordinate our response to the drought.”
Major General Day was appointed a week ago by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Earlier today, Mr Morrison also met with General Angus Campbell, the Chief of the Defence Force, at Parliament House.
media_camera Scott Morrison meets with National Drought Co-ordinator Major General Stephan Day. Picture: Kym Smith
‘BRING BACK TONY ABBOTT’
Scott Morrison should give Tony Abbott a senior position in his cabinet, former Prime Minister John Howard has said.
Mr Abbott has been on the backbench since he was toppled as leader by Malcolm Turnbull three years ago.
The new PM should assemble “the very” team he can, Mr Howard told The Australian.
“I have been of the view for quite a long time that Tony (Abbott) should be back in the ministry and I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t repeat it, but that is entirely a matter for Scott,’’ Mr Howard said.
Mr Morrison is expected to finalise his cabinet this weekend.
It’s not yet known if Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop, who also threw their hats in the ring to be leader, will return.
media_camera Former PM Tony Abbott has been on the backbench for almost three years. Picture: AAP
WEIRD IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP CHANGE
The dumping of Malcolm Turnbull has had an unusual consequence.
Madame Tussauds wax museum in Sydney has halted the creation of a figure of Mr Turnbull and said it may stop making likenesses of Australian leaders all together.
“Malcolm Turnbull was set to be the next figure to take the stage in our World Leaders room but, in light of the current situation in Canberra, we have advised the studio team to stop work on the figure immediately,” general manager Mark Connolly told Fairfax.
It’s the third time figures of Australian leaders have been scrapped, with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott creations underway when they were knifed.
media_camera A planned Malcolm Turnbull was figure has been scrapped by Madame Tussauds. Picture: Sean Davey.
DUTTON’S SEAT IN DANGER
Peter Dutton failed in his bid to replace Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, and now the Queensland MP is at risk of losing his seat at the next election.
A Newspoll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday when Mr Dutton and his supporters were angling for a second challenge showed support in his seat of Dickson has slumped.
His primary vote dropped to 37 per cent, down 7.6 per cent since the last election, while Labor’s has risen to equal the Liberals.
But on a two-party preferred basis, the Opposition’s candidate Ali France would comfortably win, 52 to 48 per cent.
Mr Dutton currently holds the seat on a paper-thin margin of 1.6 per cent.
media_camera New polling shows former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in danger of losing his seat at the next election. Picture: AAP
WHAT TRUMP SAID TO SCOMO
US President Donald Trump phoned Scott Morrison yesterday morning to congratulate him on becoming Australia’s new prime minister.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said both leaders used Saturday’s call to reaffirm the strong bond between the US and Australia, and Mr Morrison invited the president to visit.
“Both underlined the strength and depth of our alliance and the unbreakable friendship between Australia and the United States,” the spokesperson said.
“Both leaders agreed to stay in contact and to meet at an early opportunity.”
Ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull famously had a very frosty first phone call with Mr Trump, which was cut short when the president apparently hung up on him.
Mr Trump was angry over a deal to resettle asylum seekers in the US and the call was said to be very tense.
media_camera Donald Trump and Scott Morrison spoke on the phone this morning, with the PM inviting the president to visit Australia. Picture: AP Photo
Earlier, Mr Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Mr Morrison on his new job.
“Congratulations to new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia!” Mr Trump wrote.
Congratulations to new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018 The PM has also Tweeted , describing his phone call with Mr Trump as “a great discussion”.
“We affirmed the strength of the relationship between the US and Australia,” Mr Morrison wrote.
“I shared the story of Leslie “Bull” Allen, an ANZAC hero who is a symbol of our 100 years of mateship.”
Bull Allen was a World War II hero who carried 12 wounded American soldiers to safety during the Wau-Salamaua campaign.
WHAT NEXT FOR BISHOP?
She lost out on the top job but there’s speculation building that Julie Bishop could nab a new role just as high profile.
The Foreign Minister was a contender for Liberal Leader yesterday but was knocked out in the first round of voting, which ultimately saw Scott Morrison become the new prime minister.
Political commentator Niki Savva has tipped that Ms Bishop could become Australia’s next Governor-General.
“Bishop’s stellar career also has ended, but it is unlikely this is the last we will hear or see of her,” Ms Savva wrote in The Weekend Australian .
“There are already whispers that with Sir Peter Cosgrove notching up five years as Governor-General in March, she would make a fine replacement.”
media_camera There’s speculation that Julie Bishop could be Australia’s next Governor-General. Picture: AAP
TURNBULL TO QUIT WITHIN DAYS
Malcolm Turnbull is expected to step down in coming days and will not return to parliament, Sky News has reported.
The ousted prime minister had vowed to quit politics if he was replaced as Liberal Leader.
“Former prime ministers are best out of the parliament,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I don’t think there’s much evidence to suggest that conclusion is not correct.”
The move will force a by-election in his inner-eastern seat of Wentworth, and a familiar face is strongly tipped to run.
Christine Forster , a Liberal City of Sydney Councillor and sister of Tony Abbott, has been encouraged to put her hand up for preselection.
media_camera Former PM Malcolm Turnbull with his wife Lucy and daughter Daisy leaving The Lodge in Canberra for a walk. Picture: Jonathan Ng
‘SAME PARTY, NEW LEADER’
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on Scott Morrison to call an election and let the Australian people decide who should be prime minister.
The events of the past week have shown the government is in chaos, he said during a press conference in Melbourne.
“This government is bitterly divided,” Mr Shorten said.
“This is the same old government with the same old division and chaos. It doesn’t sit easily with the Australian people.”
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen addressed the media in Sydney earlier and vowed the Labor Party would fight the government on policy.
“The Turnbull Government was unpopular because they had the wrong policies for Australia,” Mr Bowen said.
“Call an election. Labor’s ready for an election, we welcome an election anytime the prime minister chooses to call it. An election will give the Australian public the chance to throw this mob out once and for all.
“This government is broken.”
The new PM had presided over stagnated wage growth, an attempt to drive through corporate tax cuts and a resistance to the Royal Commission into the banks.
media_camera The events of the past week haven’t sat well with Australians, Labor Leader Bill Shorten said. Picture: AAP
NEW LEADERS HIT THE GROUND RUNNING.
Scott Morrison will spend his first full day as prime minister focusing on the drought crisis gripping Australia’s east.
Meanwhile, his deputy Josh Frydenberg is in Melbourne and had breakfast this morning with Peter Costello, who was treasurer in John Howard’s government.
Mr Frydenberg will take on the treasury portfolio in the new cabinet and said he would count on Mr Costello’s experience.
Fairfax reporter Tom Cowie said on Twitter that the pair had smashed avocado on pumpkin seed toast with Yarra Valley feta, activated walnuts and pomegranate, in case you’re interested.
media_camera New Treasurer Josh Frydenberg with Peter Costello in Melbourne this morning. Picture: AAP
CLAIMS OF THREATS AND INTIMIDATION
Female Liberal MPs were threatened and intimidated into supporting a challenge of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, it has been claimed
Channel 7 political editor Mark Riley said Peter Dutton’s camp was using “thuggish” behaviour to lift its numbers on Wednesday night.
“I saw two female Liberal MPs in tears along the corridors,” Mr Riley wrote in The West today.
“I wrongly assumed they were lamenting the imminent assassination of yet another prime minister. It wasn’t until I spoke with them on Thursday that I understood what had really happened.
“They’d been sobbing in shock and disgust at the threats and intimidation they’d been subjected to by the goons and knuckledraggers trying to gather the signatures on Dutton’s behalf.
“One of them purports to be a conservative family man of traditional Christian values. To those women now, he is just a pig.”
media_camera Peter Dutton’s supporters have been accused of threatening and intimidating female MPs to bully their support for his leadership. Picture: AAP
SCOMO ‘WORKED THE PHONES’
There is new insight into the events that took place on the eve of yesterday’s toppling of Malcolm Turnbull.
Fairfax Media reports Peter Dutton’s supporters had dinner in Canberra on Thursday to celebrate having enough numbers to force a meeting of the party room.
Their man, they thought, would then be elected leader of the Liberal Party and become the next prime minister.
But while they dined, Scott Morrison was phoning colleagues to gather their support and defeat Mr Dutton.
“Scott didn’t stop,” one of his backers told Fairfax . “He went quite late.”
media_camera Governor-General Peter Cosgrove congratulates new Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: AFP
NO HONEYMOON PERIOD
Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan faced a grilling on ABC’s 7.30 after the messy leadership change, but he refused to address the elephant in the room.
“Can you explain to the hundreds of thousands of Australian voters, watching this program tonight, why your party had to dump Malcolm Turnbull?” asked host Leigh Sales.
“Well, in the end our party room has decided that they want a new generation of leaders. They have elected Scott Morrison to be our new Prime Minister and Josh Frydenberg to be our new deputy leader,” replied Mr Tehan.
media_camera After a disaster week, there are now questions over whether the Liberal Party can survive. Picture: AFP
Sales: “And why?”
Tehan: “Well, because that’s what they’ve decided to do and our focus now -’
“But that doesn’t answer why,” fired back Sales. “Sorry to interrupt you, but why?”
“Because that is what the party room has decided to do and the reason they’ve decided to do that is because they want a new generation of leaders who can focus on the Australian people,” responded Mr Tehan, again avoiding the question.
CALLS FOR ABBOTT TO QUIT
There are growing calls for Tony Abbott to quit politics after his role in this week’s chaotic leadership challenge.
The former prime minister was a frequent critic of Malcolm Turnbull, who rolled him for the top job barely three years ago, and was viewed as a destabilising force in the government’s ranks.
Now, the man described by some in the beleaguered Liberal Party as a “wrecker”, is being urged to pack it in.
“I think he’ll retire at the next election,” Queensland MP Andrew Laming told ABC Radio this morning. “I’d encourage him to.”
It was up to the new, “formidable team” of new Prime Minister Scott Morrison and deputy Josh Frydenberg to pull the party together on policy, he said.
Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch has also called for Mr Abbott to leave Parliament.
“I think his mission is accomplished, he has got rid of his nemesis,” Entsch said. “Everything there was purely about revenge. He has been successful in his own way.”
It follows a similar call earlier this week from Nationals MP Damian Drum.
“He vowed he wouldn’t be a wrecker and that’s exactly what he’s been, a wrecker,” Mr Drum told ABC. “He needs to get out of the joint.”
Amanda Vanstone, who was a minister in John Howard’s cabinet, said this week’s shambolic events had Mr Abbott’s finger prints on it.
“The destabilisation has been going on for a long time,” Ms Vanstone told ABC.
“All I can tell you is my own experience of Abbott is whatever you do with him, unless he gets his way he’ll be disruptive.
“That’s my own experience of him. My personal view is putting him in any ministerial position doesn’t mean he’ll be a team player unless he gets what he wants.”
And on The Drum earlier this week, she labelled Mr Abbott a “wrecker”.
media_camera Tony Abbott has been a destabilising force in the government since Malcolm Turnbull rolled him for the top job three years ago. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
A party room meeting on Friday afternoon saw Mr Turnbull resign as leader and Liberal MPs vote to install Mr Morrison.
It followed days of uncertainty, an unsuccessful challenge by Peter Dutton and extraordinary scenes in Parliament House.
Speaking to Channel 9 as he left his Canberra apartment on Saturday, the new PM indicated he could make announcements about his cabinet this week.
Originally published as Dutton rejects ex-PM’s last swipe