Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to save embattled backbencher Craig Kelly from being thrown out of Parliament in a risky intervention that will ignite a fresh war between the Liberal Party’s conservative and moderate forces.
Mr Kelly, a key ally of former prime minister Tony Abbott who helped engineer the demise of Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee, is facing certain defeat in a preselection challenge by Kent Johns in the safe southern Sydney seat of Hughes.
Member for Hughes and chairman of the Coalition backbench environment and energy committee, Craig Kelly, seems to split his time between appearing on Sky After Dark and 2GB, and posting clickbait headlines on his facebook page.
But the most cursory investigation shows Craig is either deliberately misrepresenting the articles he links to by cherry-picking a sentence or two, or he is a gullible fool who doesn’t bother reading the stuff he is being fed by others. Considering the volume of links he posts, I would suggest the latter.
Abbott Threatens the Liberal Party
Craig Kelly, ” faces a serious challenge in his seat of Hughes from the Liberal party state vice-president, Kent Johns. Insiders suggest Johns, a party moderate, will have the numbers – which prompted Abbott to go into bat for the backbencher on Wednesday.
Abbott warned there would be no “harmony” inside the Liberal party if Kelly – his factional ally – was “rolled”.
“I think it would be a disaster for our party if Craig Kelly were to lose preselection, an absolute disaster,” the former prime minister told 2GB. “He has been a very good local member, he has been a very strong participant in all of our policy discussions, he has been a very good and vocal advocate for our position.
“The idea he should be knocked off, at this point in time … I just think that is the worst possible look.
“The only way we can win the election is if we have harmony inside our party and we sure ain’t going to have harmony if Craig Kelly gets rolled.”