Australia’s current uncertainty over the nation’s top job has continued to deepen, with Peter Dutton calling for a second spill.
Despite Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holding on to his leadership in a party room spill earlier this week, Peter Dutton now believes he has the numbers to succeed.
The Prime Minister has rejected Mr Dutton’s call for another party room meeting in which a leadership spill could take place.
There has also been a series of frontbench resignations as well as a National MP saying that they will become a crossbench member if Mr Dutton won leadership. In an interview, they cited the fact that they did not want to “implicitly condone” the routine changing of leaders in Canberra, something which they said average Australians were getting tired of.
In a press conference, Mr Dutton said that he had advised Malcolm Turnbull that in his opinion the “majority of the party room” no longer wanted him as Prime Minister. He then formally asked the PM to hold a party meeting where he would again challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the country’s top job.
Mr Dutton also said that he would not have asked the Prime Minister for another spill if he wasn’t confident he has the “majority of support”.
It is believed that Mr Dutton has a petition of around 27 names of MPs who want the Prime Minister to hold another leadership spill.
Cabinet member and supporter of Malcolm Turnbull, Christopher Pyne, said that another meeting would only be held if Mr Dutton produced the 43 signatures needed to prove he had the support of the party majority.
Amongst supporters of Turnbull it is believed that the rumour of a petition is part of a campaign to artificially inflate Mr Dutton’s political momentum and that the matter of leadership was settled in the original spill.