AustraliaMalcolm Turnbull blames ministers for 'blowing up government'

15:45  08 november  2018
15:45  08 november  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Malcolm Turnbull blames ministers for 'blowing up government'© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Mr Tunrbull said Finance Minister Matthias Cormann, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Defence Industry Minister Steve Ciobo, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Energy Minister Angus Taylor all had a hand in his demise.

Malcolm Turnbull has taken a swipe at senior ministers he blames for the August leadership coup - insisting they “blew the government up” and haven’t explained why.

On ABC TV’s Q&A programme, his first major television appearance since being ousted, he pointed out not only Peter Dutton, but Energy Minister Angus Taylor, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Finance Minister Matthias Cormann, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Defence Industry Minister Steve Ciobo.

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And the name Tony Abbott bobbed up on more than one occasion.

Mr Turnbull, who has maintained the coup was “madness”, said they were the ones who needed to explain why the coup took place.

He said “everyone (in the government) was aware” of private polling that had the coalition in front of Labor 52-48 in the month of the leadership challenge.

But admitted he was still hurt by events of the final week of August, pointing the finger at ministers inside his own Cabinet, who voted for the spill.

"They need to explain why they did it and none of them have," he said.

"They effectively blew up the government that created a situation of enormous instability.

"The mood to remove me in August was crazy; it was pointless.

"Scott Morrison can’t explain it, he’s the new Prime Minister. I’m the outgoing Prime Minister I can’t explain it and the people who caused it choose not to do so."

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The former Prime Minister insisted he’d been warned but it had never occurred to him those cabinet ministers "would act in a way that would be so damaging."

He admitted it was still "quite painful to talk about", and warned the ongoing questions over why he was ousted could dig at the Coalition right through until polling day.

"I think Australians are entitled to know the answer," Mr Turnbull said.

While he smacked down senior government ministers, he also blamed the government’s actions in the final week of by-election campaign for losing his former seat of Wentworth.

Malcolm Turnbull blames ministers for 'blowing up government'© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Mr Turnbull reserved much of his strongest language for Peter Dutton. There was a voting blunder that saw the government side with Pauline Hanson in the senate and the decision to review the location of the embassy in Israel.

It was a week Mr Turnbull described as "messy" for the government.

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"My judgement is that Dave Sharma would have won the election - with a reduced majority, obviously, quite substantially reduced - had it been held on the Saturday before," he declared.

"The by-election was lost in the last week."

Mr Turnbull also defended his lack of public support for Mr Sharma in the final days of the campaign.

Malcolm Turnbull blames ministers for 'blowing up government'© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Tony Abbott was also named as a party destabiliser.

He said under the circumstances he saw it as "unhelpful" to intervene.

And after he had appeared to have differences with Scott Morrison last week over comments the former prime minister made in Bali over the embassy issue, tonight he was wishing Mr Morrison “all the best in the election”.

Asked if he thought Mr Morrison's backers had been inflating Peter Dutton’s numbers in the first ballot in the final week of August, Mr Turnbull brushed it aside.

"I take Scott at his word. The insurgency was led by Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott and others."

But added, "He has dealt himself a very tough hand of cards now he has to play them".

Mr Turnbull said, “I’m not miserable, or bitter, or resentful at all,” describing it as a privilege to be prime minister.

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He said the Liberal party faced a major challenge to win back votes “from the centre”, pointing to formerly safe Liberal seats of Mayo and Wentworth falling to independents.

Mr Turnbull also used the appearance to attack what he saw as a “consistent campaign” waged against him by some quarters of the media, confirming he’d spoken with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Malcolm Turnbull blames ministers for 'blowing up government'© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Malcolm Turnbull said he is 'out of politics' and now wants to focus on the business world.

Much of his strongest language was reserved for Peter Dutton.

He said his idea of removing GST from power bills was “justification for taking it to Cabinet, not overthrowing a government”.

The coup resulted in not just a change of leader but also alluded to broader issues in parliament after one MP, Julia Banks, announced after the challenge, her intention to quit over bullying and intimidation.

Of that Mr Turnbull said, "The culture in parliament is not sufficiently respectful of women... it's like stepping into an office in the 80s. It's very, very blokey."

The conversation on the ABC’s Q&A program largely centred around the coup, as Mr Turnbull tried to push what he saw as his legacy.

He hailed marriage equality, jobs growth, a stronger economy, and salvaging the Trans Pacific Partnership as his great successes.

As for what’s next for Mr Turnbull?

He says he is "out of politics".

"I will return to the business world. I love nothing more than technology."

'If Peter was the answer, what was the question?' Malcolm Turnbull savages Dutton in bitter take down of the man that ousted him - but insists he's 'not a hater' and is a 'positive person'.
Malcom Turnbull attended an exclusive Sydney dinner function as an honourary guest on Friday evening and took the opportunity to make another swipe at coup leader Peter Dutton.

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