Malcolm Turnbull to challenge Tony Abbott for leadership

UPDATE: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed that there will be a party room ballot for both the leadership and deputy leadership this evening.

In a press conference at 6.15pm, Abbott confirmed the news.

“Since coming to Government, our team has stopped the boats, improved the budget, cut taxes and increased jobs.

“We have laid the foundation for a better deal for families and for small business.


“You can trust me to deliver a stronger economy and a safer community. The prime ministership of this country is not a prize or a plaything to be demanded.

“It should be something which is earned by a vote of the Australian people.

“There will be a party room ballot for both the leadership and deputy leadership positions later this evening. I will be a candidate and I expect to win.

“Obviously, I am dismayed by the destabilisation that’s been taking place now for many, many months and I do say to my fellow Liberals that the destabilisation just has to stop.

“Let me finish on this note – I firmly believe that our party is better than this, that our Government is better than this and, by God, that our country is so much better than this. Thank you.”

The ballot comes after both, Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop, approached the Prime Minister earlier today requesting a ballot for the liberal leadership.
EARLIER: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has resigned from cabinet in order to challenge Prime Minister Tony Abbott for leadership.

Turnbull met with Abbott earlier today to request a ballot for the Liberal Party leadership.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also approached the Prime Minister and requested a ballot, with the pair stating that they no longer have confidence in his leadership.

At a press conference this afternoon, Turnbull said that a different style of leadership is needed.

“It is clear enough that the government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers. Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”

“We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans.”

“We have to make a change for our country’s sake, our government’s sake, and our party’s sake,” he said.

Mr Turnbull was opposition leader before he was unseated by Mr Abbott.