O’Brien to keep silent until ScoMo meeting
WIDE Bay MP Llew O'Brien will not comment after sensationally quitting the National Party overnight following Barnaby Joyce's failed leadership bid last week.
Mr O'Brien told Prime Minister Scott Morrison of his decision last night and it is likely he will meet Mr Morrison to have talks later this week.
Mr O'Brien will remain in the coalition party room.
"Mr O'Brien joined the LNP at its inception and remains a member of the LNP.
"Mr O'Brien will not make any statements until after he has met with the prime minister," his spokeswoman told AAP this morning.
The member for Wide Bay was among Barnaby Joyce supporters who were last week threatening to cross the floor and block coalition legislation after the failed leadership bid.
Senior government minister Mathias Cormann said Mr O'Brien would still be a member of the Liberal National Party.
"He continues to support the government - that is what he has made clear to the prime minister," Senator Cormann said.
On Thursday, refusing to back away from threats he would block government legislation, Mr O'Brien said the only people who could rely on his vote would continue to be the people of Wide Bay.
"The make-up of the ministry is a matter for the Nationals leader and he needs to put in place those people in the ministry who will not only toe the National Party line but the Liberal Party line as well," Mr O'Brien said.
"As the Member for Wide Bay I am focused on Wide Bay.
"Nothing has changed, the only people who can rely on my vote will continue to be the people of Wide Bay.
"I have always and will always act in the best interests of Wide Bay.
"I take the trust the people have placed in me very seriously.
"Serving the people of Wide Bay honestly and with integrity means that my ambition is only for them and my vote isn't for sale.
"In the time since I was elected I have demonstrated that I'm not afraid to head in a different direction to the Nationals and Liberal party rooms but I'm confident I have got the big calls right.
"I saw the need for the Banking Royal Commission and pressed Prime Minister Turnbull for it and it happened. I saw the need to end the damaging dollar milk price war and the giant supermarkets folded.
"I saw the need for an inquiry into veterans' superannuation and made it happen. I saw the need for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission and the Government is now moving ahead with it.
"None of these things were initially recommended or supported by the party rooms or Cabinet but by working with some select colleagues they've become a reality. And they've eventually been supported by the Party Rooms and Cabinet.
"In Wide Bay we've had some big wins with $800 million for Cooroy to Curra Section D, investing in the expansion of Nolan Meats to create 200 jobs, and $18 million to secure water for Maryborough's sugar industry, among many others."