According to at least one member of the NSW Liberal executive, Sally Betts, the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, is a bully, a thug and a disgrace.
A “real” Liberal, as his ally and mentor Tony Abbott enthuses – perhaps one of the kind that the minister for women (among other things), Kelly O’Dwyer, was talking about when she said the public regarded her party as homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers.
But, says our desperate prime minister, he is our own bumptious buffoon, and therefore to be protected at all costs, even if that means destroying democracy in the process. Thus, the entire state preselection process is to be junked so that Kelly can be preserved for another crack at the electorate whose own preselecters were determined to get rid of him.
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.