Malcolm Turnbull speaking after his defeat. Image via ABC News 24 stream.
Federal treasurer Scott Morrison will become Australia’s 30th prime minister after a Liberal leadership spill against Malcolm Turnbull.
The spill, held at a party room meeting shortly after 12.20pm today, was brought on by pressure from supporters of former home affairs minister Peter Dutton.
Mr Dutton was hoping to take leadership but failed to gain support of enough Liberal MPs.
Josh Frydenberg was chosen as Liberal deputy over Greg Hunt, ending Julie Bishop’s decade in the role.
Ms Bishop also nominated as a leadership candidate, but was knocked out in the first ballot.
Chief Liberal whip Nola Marino addressed media shortly after the spill, stating Mr Morrison had won the vote 45 votes to 40 against Mr Dutton.
Mr Morrison will be the fifth person since 2013 to hold the prime ministership.
After the spill, Mr Turnbull confirmed to media at parliament house that he would quit parliament “not before too long,” which could cause serious issues for the new leadership given the government holds a majority of just one seat. He did however say he has done all he could to maintain stability.
“It may surprise you on a day like this, but I remain very optimistic and excited about Australia’s future,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We’ve been able to achieve, as a progressive liberal coalition government, enormous reforms and very ery substantial achievements.
“We have delivered, as we promised, jobs and growth. You may have heard that before.”
Mr Turnbull described himself as “a reforming Liberal prime minister” who faced “difficult political challenges” including marriage equality.
Speaking to reporters after the party meeting, Mr Dutton congratulated Mr Morrison, thanked Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop for their service, and promised “absolute loyalty to Mr Morrison to ensure we defeat [Labor leader] Bill Shorten.”
Former prime minister Tony Abbott fronted media shortly after, saying “we’ve lost a prime minister, but there’s still a government to save.”
Mr Hunt said a line had been drawn under instability in the party and congratulated Mr Frydenberg and Mr Morrison.
Mr Morrison is yet to speak to media.
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