Is Turnbull’s leadership under threat because of marriage equality move?

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that senior Liberal party figures are threatening to roll Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unless he can convince backbenchers not to proceed with a plan to cross the floor over marriage equality.

Journalist Sharri Markson has reported that senior conservative MPs have confirmed that they’ll move to replace the Prime Minister with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton if the group of moderate MPs ‘cross the floor’ in support of a marriage equality bill.

The party’s right faction is alleged working on a plan to replace the Prime Minister, and long standing deputy Julie Bishop. Under the regime change Health Minister Greg Hunt would take the deputy role.

Today Queensland MP Trevor Evans hinted that he may cross the floor to vote in favour of marriage equality. It is widely believed that a group of marriage equality supporters in the lower house would side with the Labor party to bring on a vote and end Australia’s drawn out marriage equality debate.

It has been suggested that Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson and Warren Enstch might be willing to make a stand on the issue and cross the floor. Western Australian senator Dean Smith is currently working on a private member’s bill for marriage equality.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that senior conservative Liberals have threatened to end the politician’s careers unless they agree to publicly support the government’s plan for a plebiscite.

Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman appeared on The Bolt Report on SKY News and criticised Evans for his statements in the media.

“I’m very disappointed in Trevor,” the former Premier said, “But more importantly people in the LNP in Queensland tonight are very, very, disappointed and angry with him.”

Newman described Evans support for marriage equality as “self indulgent”. Newman said Tim Wilson and Trevor Evans’ statements about supporting a free vote were hurting the Prime Minister.

Tony Abbott’s former Chief of Staff Peta Credlin, who is now a media commentator on the station, said comments from Victorian MP Tim Wilson on the issue were “claptrap”.

Struggling to remember Evans’ name, and describing Dean Smith as a South Australian, Credlin took offence at a statement Wilson had made in a series of interviews where, he said he considered he was ‘discharged’ of his duty to support a plebiscite, because it had been blocked in the senate.

“He’s been in parliament for one year and he’s making up the rules of engagement as he goes along,” Credlin said.

“You do not discharge your duty to the Australian people to honour what you took to the election, until they discharge their duty, until the Australian people get to vote on what you promised them.”

“This idea that you have one haphazard, half-hearted run through the parliament, when you know and expect your going to get opposition from the left, then you say you’ve discharged your responsibility? No – you have not Tim Smith, No- you have not Tim Wilson, No- You have not Trevor Evans, No – You have not Dean Smith, No- You have not Trent Zimmerman,” Credlin declared.

Credlin, apparently unaware that she’d just created a new MP named Tim Smith, continued on and said the party needed to do something about its leadership.

OIP Staff

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