Turnbull under pressure to resign after senior ministers quit Australian govt

Devin Lawrence
August 24, 2018

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's leadership of his party and the country is all-but over as Julie Bishop surges to a massive lead in the latest snap leadership poll.

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull was under pressure to resign on Thursday after another three senior ministers quit his government, just two days after the prime minister scraped through a leadership challenge.

And with senior ministers defecting, Turnbull's near three-year grip on power is tenuous despite surviving a snap ballot on his leadership on Tuesday, winning the vote 48-35.

Dutton, described by supporters as a pragmatic legislator who gets things done and by detractors as a racist who demonises refugees, has said he has legal advice that he is in the clear. Mr Hogan did not respond to requests for comment.

The Australian Prime Minister was given the spill petition by Peter Dutton today and commenced a party meeting at midday (2pm NZT).

If a three-way vote is held, whoever comes last in the first round of voting will be eliminated, and then a second round of voting will decide who becomes the prime minister.

Wants to receive solicitor general advice on Dutton's eligibility to sit.

But in a major blow, his influential Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, along with the employment and education ministers, said they no longer supported him.

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Such a pending court case could scare lawmakers away from supporting Dutton in a leadership ballot.

I'm doing that. I'm the foreign minister of Australia.

Former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, an ex-police officer and right-winger, has been the stalking horse seeking to unseat Turnbull after a party backlash against his more moderate approach to politics.

The prime minister said he would not contest a leadership ballot if that occurred, with Mr Dutton, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison to stand in the event of a spill. Believe me: there's a lot of good people on both sides of the chamber and we can do better.

He added that what Australia was witnessing was "a very deliberate effort to pull the Liberal Party further to the right".

According to Sky News Australia, Liberal MP Karen Andrews says only one more signature is needed to force the meeting to take place. "I'm sorry. You deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up to you for the past 10 years", wrote Nationals MP Darren Chester, whose party is in a coalition with the Liberals.

Opposition lawmaker Tony Burke argued that the government wanted to avoid question time, a daily period when the prime minister and ministers answer opposition questions for more than an hour. "I'm sorry. You deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up to you for the past 10 years", wrote Nationals MP Darren Chester, whose party is in a coalition with the Liberals.

The tactic of swapping leaders in the hope of boosting governments' standing in opinion polls as elections loom has left parties bitterly divided.

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