22 Aug 2018

Peter Dutton hints at another challenge to Turnbull

4:21 pm on 22 August 2018

Peter Dutton has given his clearest indication yet that he intends to challenge the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his job, for the second time.

 Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton Photo: AAP

The former Home Affairs minister has confirmed he is "working the phones" to try to convince the seven colleagues he needs to tip the leadership ballot in his favour, following his failed bid for the leadership yesterday.

Mr Dutton told Melbourne Radio 3AW that if he has the numbers, he will go again.

"I don't have a bad word to say about Malcolm Turnbull now and I didn't before.

"I respect though that the party room made a decision yesterday. You don't go into a ballot believing that you can lose and if I believe that the majority of colleagues support me, then I would consider my position," he said.

The ABC is reporting that Mr Dutton and his supporters are confident they can replace Mr Turnbull as leader and dump Julie Bishop as deputy in favour of Victorian Greg Hunt.

The Dutton camp is watching Senate leader Mathias Cormann, whose backing is currently keeping Mr Turnbull safe.

The latest development adds to the turmoil caused when 10 frontbenchers offered their resignations and Mr Dutton confirmed he was calling his colleagues to keep up his pitch to replace Mr Turnbull as PM.

"I'm speaking to colleagues, I'm not going to beat around the bush with that, mate," Mr Dutton told 3AW this morning.

Mr Turnbull's supporters believe a new challenge for the leadership could come as soon as tomorrow.


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