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Malcolm Turnbull steps in to stop ‘worst and weakest’ bid to save jilted Lib

Ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull re-entered the political debate to stop MP Craig Kelly winning automatic pre-selection.

Mr Kelly, one of the right-wing conservatives responsible for pushing Mr Turnbull out of office, faces a tough battle to win preselection for his seat of Hughes.

With Mr Kelly refusing to rule out becoming a crossbencher if the Liberal Party doesn’t select him, powerbrokers were yesterday working on tweaking rules to ensure the preselection battled needn’t even occur.

But Mr Turnbull was having none of that.

In a series of tweets on Sunday night, Mr Turnbull said to rig the rules to help Mr Kelly slip back into power would be a “capitulation”.

“Indeed it would be the worst and weakest response to such a threat,” he wrote.

“It is time for the Liberal Party members in Hughes to have their say about their local member and decide who they want to represent them.”

It was a bad night for Mr Kelly, who was also confirmed to have been in a public slanging match with a local at a gym.


The Big Guns are weighing in on the issue with Ben Fordham.

Graham Richardson says Mr Turnbull “is trying to set a new low for himself”.

“Almost every time I hear him, he’s having yet another go at the party which discarded him. You’d think he’d get over it,” he tells Ben.

“But instead of that, he shows that lack of character, that nastiness that I think is so inbred into him.

“I just think people are sick and tired of Malcolm Turnbull.”

Andrew Bolt tells Ben it’s “a single-minded campaign of devastation”.

“And when you look at the energy that is invested in getting square, getting even, bad mouthing Scott Morrison behind the scenes… the whole picture is right there, he wants to destroy the Liberals, not save them.”

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Macquarie National News