Dutton: ‘Turnbull offered me Bishop’s job’
Peter Dutton has revealed how former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was prepared to sideline Julie Bishop and give him the job of deputy Liberal leader.
According to The Australian, Mr Dutton has revealed for the first time that when he was prime minister, Mr Turnbull offered to make Mr Dutton deputy Liberal leader in favour over Julie Bishop.
Mr Dutton says that Mr Turnbull made him that offer last August.
The Sky News two-part series Bad Blood/New Blood, which airs at 8pm tonight, delves into the brutal behind the scenes politics of the Coalition. In it, Mr Dutton also claimed that the Liberals could only win the election if he was leader.
Mr Dutton, currently Home Affairs Minister, is one of several former and present politicians who have gone on the record about the fractured internal workings of the Liberal party.
"Malcolm came up to me after that partyroom meeting and said, 'I want you to stay on as Home Affairs Minister', and I said, 'Malcolm, that position is untenable and I can't accept that'," Mr Dutton says in the Sky News series.
"He (Turnbull) offered me the deputy leader position. I said to him, given what had just taken place, that wasn't credible and it wasn't his to gift either."
The claim by Mr Dutton provoked a response yesterday from Mr Turnbull's office who issued the statement that the claim was "nonsense", and that Mr Turnbull would have made no such offer - and one that could on be conferred by the partyroom.
The idea was raised, apparently, by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who was a supporter of Mr Dutton.
A supporter of Mr Turnbull said that the former Prime Minister was always a proponent of Julie Bishop and would not have cast her aside, and neither would the partyroom.
When Sky News political editor David Speers asks Mr Dutton if he believes he could have won the election as leader, Mr Dutton responds: "All credit to Scott Morrison because I think he has provided the leadership that Malcolm never could," he says. "I only stuck my hand up last August because I believe that I could have won the election."
Read more in The Australian.