Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull has announced he will officially resign from federal parliament this Friday.
The news comes as a result of Mr Turnbull losing the support of his party last week in a leadership spill that saw Scott Morrison take the country’s top job. This result came after Mr Turnbull narrowly survived a recent leadership spill in which Peter Dutton was the favourite to replace him.
Mr Turnbull’s resignation is set to trigger a by-election his Sydney seat of Wentworth.
Sister of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Christine Forster, has said that she wants to be the Liberal candidate for the Wentworth seat. She has served as a Liberal counsellor for the last 6 years and played a key role in 2017’s successful same-sex marriage advocacy campaign.
The date for the by-election will be set by House Speaker Tony Smith, after the formal resignation of Mr Turnbull.
The seat is currently held by Mr Turnbull by a margin of 17.7%. This margin was even lower, at 5.5% when he first claimed the seat in 2004.
James Brown, Mr Turnbull’s son-in-law, ruled out running for the seat earlier this week.
He said that any service in the parliament “would be an enormous honour” but said that he would not put his hand up for the seat after Malcolm Turnbull’s resignation. He did however thank those who have pushed him to contest the seat.
In his final media address as prime minister, Mr Turnbull said that he would be leaving Parliament “not before too long” and that “I’ve been very clear about that”.
In a letter addressed to his Wentworth electorate, Mr Turnbull expressed his gratitude towards the residents who had elected him to represent them both as an MP and as prime minister.
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