17/06/2008 - 08:32

Buswell retains Liberal leadership

17/06/2008 - 08:32

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Troy Buswell has retained his leadership of the Liberal Party after a spill motion proposed by Liberal MP Anthony Fels to remove him was defeated.

Troy Buswell has retained his leadership of the Liberal Party after a spill motion proposed by Liberal MP Anthony Fels to remove him was defeated.

According to a broadcast on ABC radio, the motion was defeated within the first 20 minutes at a party room meeting held this morning.

It is the second time in two months Mr Buswell has survived a spill motion. In May he survived by three votes after he admitted sniffing the chair a Liberal staffer's chair.

Mr Fels had nominated former opposition leader Matt Birney to take over from Mr Buswell, however Mr Birney this morning indicated he was relunctant to take on the role.

The party's internal divisions were highlighted again last week when a corruption report found South Perth Liberal MP John McGrath moved a motion in parliament in 2006 prepared by former Labor premier and lobbyist Brian Burke.

Mr Fels is one of several MPs who openly criticised Mr Buswell for not immediately sacking Mr McGrath, who has supported his leadership.

He told ABC Radio this morning: "We have the numbers and the numbers are going to support the spill.

"That's already known, so I would expect by nine, shortly after 9.30am this morning, there would be a vacancy there, and shortly thereafter Matt Birney will be elected leader of the Liberal Party."

Mr Fels said he expected Mr Birney to be elected unopposed.

Mr Birney announced in January he would not contest his seat of Kalgoorlie at the next state election, expected before the end of the year.

He was overthrown as Liberal leader in March 2006, just 12 months after taking the job, following a series of gaffes.

Yesterday, Mr Buswell reshuffled his front bench after dumping his police spokesman Rob Johnson, who had threatened to resign and accused him of giving Mr McGrath favourable treatment.















 

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