Prime Minister won’t contest leadership if spill motion is carried
The Prime Minister will hold a party room meeting at 12pm tomorrow and won’t contest the leadership if a spill motion is carried.
“When the party room meeting is called I will invite a spill motion to be moved,” Mr Turnbull says.
“If the motion is carried I will treat that as a vote of no confidence and I will not stand as a candidate in the ballot,” he says.
Mr Turnbull has confirmed he will resign from parliament if he’s ousted as leader.
BREAKING: Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm says if a spill motion is carried at a midday meeting tomorrow, he will take that as a vote of no confidence and NOT contest the leadership #auspol #libspill @2GB873
— Tamara Wearne (@Tamarawearne) August 23, 2018
His comments come after Peter Dutton declared he would challenge the PM for the Liberal leadership a second time.
Three senior ministers – Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash – have since withdrawn their support for the Prime Minister and resigned from their positions.
All three say they supported Mr Turnbull in Tuesday’s ballot, but can’t any longer.
Several other senior ministers followed the exodus, with Greg Hunt, Michael Keenan and Angus Taylor all tendering their resignations.
Following the announcement, the Prime Minister says an “internal insurgency” is “very hard to stop”.
“What began as a minority has, by a process of intimidation, persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give into it.
“I do not believe in that. I’ve never given in to bullies, but you could imagine the pressure it’s put people under.”
It’s been speculated today that Mr Turnbull would stand aside to allow Scott Morrison to run for the leadership.