Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Malcolm Turnbull: Australia adjourns parliament amid leadership crisis

Malcolm Turnbull: Australia adjourns parliament amid leadership crisis

"It would be kinder to voters and more in the national interest if Mr Turnbull drove to Yarralumla (Cosgrove's official residence) and called an election a year early", The Sydney Morning Herald wrote in an editorial.

Besieged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's leadership looked doomed after three of his senior ministers announced that they had tendered their resignations and called for a second leadership vote.

The petition would require 43 signatures to force the Coalition into the meeting, although when exactly the meeting would occur would be up to the PM.

He said if Peter Dutton proves he has the numbers, he will step down.

Mr Dutton and one other opponent were allowed to leave the ministry.

The motion was narrowly defeated by 69 votes to 68, however Dutton tried to preempt the attack by releasing the legal advice he commissioned late past year on his eligibility to sit in Parliament, which he says clears him of accusations that he is in breach of the constitution.

"The constant rotation of prime ministers by both the Labor Party and the Liberal party, I can not condone", the Page MP said.

"I was disappointed when I discovered that [Peter Dutton] had not supported the apology to the Stolen Generation", Mr Wyatt told 6PR radio today.

Senator Cormann said it was with "great sadness and a heavy heart" that the three advised the prime minister yesterday afternoon that he no longer had the support of the majority of the party room and offered to resign.

Despite Turnbull's win, it laid bare that dozens of his own MPs do not want him as their leader, and Dutton worked the phones and blitzed the airwaves Wednesday to shore up more support for another widely-expected crack at the top job.

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Speaking on Triple M this morning after losing the Liberal leadership spill by 48 to 35 votes on Tuesday, Dutton was asked by host Wil Anderson if he could tell listeners his favourite Acca Dacce tune. They include the health minister and trade minister, both frontbenchers.

"You don't go into a ballot believing you can lose and if I believe that a majority of colleagues support me then I would consider my position".

A social liberal and multi-millionaire former merchant banker, Turnbull rode an early wave of popular support but he has struggled to appeal to conservative voters.

He advocated taking the GST off electricity prices.

Mr Dutton has also pledged to cut Australia's immigration intake.

Labor challenged Peter Dutton again over his childcare centres, which receive government subsidies.

Mr Turnbull said the policy would be an "expensive" with Mr Morrison adding it would cost states $7.5 billion and the Commonwealth would have to reimburse the states.

That would create a by-election that could cost the government its single-seat majority or spur his replacement to immediately call a general election.

Mr Turnbull is under pressure over poor polling and a push by conservative members of his party to replace him.

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