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Libspill: Canberra heavyweights react to leadership chaos

Article image for Libspill: Canberra heavyweights react to leadership chaos

Australia is preparing to welcome their 30th Prime Minister into office.

It will be our sixth change of prime minister in eleven years since John Howard was leader.

The political turmoil this week finally came to a head today with Scott Morrison claiming the Liberal leadership from contender Peter Dutton in a party room spill, 45 votes to 40.

It is a result many were not expecting, most of all those in the Dutton camp.

Following the spill, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz told Ben Fordham that Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have “the full support of the party room.”

“We will be absolutely united.”

When challenged on how many would be cynical about that statement, Eric defends his position by saying “people are entitled to be cynical, but what I invite them to do is watch and observe and you will see a completely united team behind Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg.”

Despite the fresh pledge of loyalty, Senator Abetz does admit “sometimes you get the results you want, sometimes you don’t”.

“But you move forward together and that is the important thing.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese isn’t seeing the unity Senator Abetz has referred to, telling Ben Fordham “it’s going to be a very difficult job to put this rabble back together”.

“It is very hard to be positive about where the nation’s going after this week in Canberra,” he says.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people.

“No one was positive about the state of politics in Australia and the truth is, it’s going to be very difficult.”

When it comes to Labor’s history of leadership spills, Mr Albanese says he has never supported ousting a sitting prime minister.

“You will recall that I, both publically and privately said that deposing Rudd in 2010 would be a mistake and that we would damage two Labor prime ministers and that was proven to be correct.

“What we’ve seen this week is really a sort of no-holds-barred cage match.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese

Ben Fordham