While Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership of the coalition is reportedly under pressure, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has shut down all talk of a spill. (Photo: By AAP-SBS)
18 August 2018
Yang J Joo – SBS News
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has shot down reports that he is considering taking a tilt at the coalition leadership.
Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in trouble amid internal divisions over energy policy and following a radio interview where Mr Dutton said further disagreements could lead to his resignation from cabinet.
“In relation to media stories today, just to make very clear, the Prime Minister has my support,” Mr Dutton tweeted on Saturday.
“I support the policies of the government. My position hasn’t changed from my comments last Thursday.”
In Thursday’s interview with Ray Hadley on 2GB, Mr Dutton refused to “bag the Prime Minister out” on air.
Asked if Mr Turnbull would lead the coalition to the next election, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said: “Of course he will”.
“He has my support and I’m looking forward to working with him to make sure we continue to put downward pressure on power bills,” Mr McCormack told reporters in Canberra.
But Mr Dutton’s assurances have not gone far in quelling speculation.
Turnbull backflips on plan to legislate Paris emissions targets (Photo: SBS AAP)
Labor frontbencher Mark Butler told reporters in Adelaide Mr Dutton’s Twitter statement was “half-hearted”.
“What he did not do was to take one step away from the inflammatory interview he did with Ray Hadley on Thursday,” Mr Butler said.
“It was on Thursday that Peter Dutton really started to set the foundation for a leadership challenge against his own Prime Minister.”
Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie brushed off speculation surrounding Mr Turnbull’s job.
“I don’t accept the assumption there’s a leadership challenge,” Senator McKenzie said.
[Read the SBS article].