Australian Politics – Backbench Doesn’t Just Rally Behind Prime Minister Tony Abbott Against Turnbull And Bishop. It Backs Morrison, Too

Posted on Mon 06/01/2015 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Over at the Insiders TV program on the ABC, there was some predictable gloating that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces another damaging split, after some mischief maker in Cabinet leaked details of a debate on whether to strip citizenship from terrorism suspects who had only Australian nationality, but could qualify for citizenship elsewhere.:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Karen Middleton and David Marr — Marr in particular — were still terribly excited about reports of fireworks in last Monday’s cabinet meeting and what they meant for Tony Abbott, despite the worthy efforts of poor old Gerard Henderson to remind them: “Cabinets leak. Always have, always will.” And over at The Bolt Report on Network Ten a talking head was playing down the significance of the story, saying: “I don’t think it was significant leadership trouble for Abbott … I don’t think it’s a leadership issue.” The identity of the right-wing death beast? Sean Kelly, sometime senior press secretary to Julia Gillard.

As I said to Kelly on the show, I’m not so sure at all that this has no leadership dimension. And, indeed:

TONY Abbott’s backbench will today demand that rebel senior ministers including Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop drop their opposition to proposed new laws to strip terrorists of citizenship when cabinet meets again today.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Dan Tehan will personally hand the Prime Minister a letter this morning signed by 37 MPs in support of a policy that includes actions not only against dual nationals involved in terrorism but sole nationals as well…

Several senior MPs yesterday said that Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop, both leadership aspirants, have now found themselves on the wrong side of the Coalition party room, which has largely thrown its support behind the PM for the stronger measures.

It’s interesting that the backbench has not just sided with Abbott against the position of Bishop and Turnbull. They have also sided with Scott Morrison against them.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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