Government in chaos as minister tipped to challenge for Gladys Berejiklian’s job will instead QUIT to run for federal parliament
- Andrews Constance to resign from state government and run for federal seat
Andrew Constance tipped to replace outgoing NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is set to instead resign from state politics and nominate for preselection in a federal seat.
The NSW Transport Minister had been considering a push for the state’s top job after Ms Berejiklian resigned on Friday but will instead run for the federal seat of Gilmore in a bid to head to Canberra.
Current Treasurer Dominic Perrottet remains the favourite to become the NSW Premier, though also in contention is Planning Minister Rob Stokes who nominated on Saturday.
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance (pictured) was tipped as one of the frontrunners to replace Ms Berejiklian but announced he would leave state politics on Sunday
A tearful Gladys Berejiklian (pictured Friday) has resigned as NSW premier and slammed the state’s corruption watchdog for investigating her
Mr Perrottet, said he has been speaking with family and colleagues, but is yet to officially show his hand.
The fact he had received ‘some strong feedback’ was as much as the deputy Liberal leader would reveal on Saturday.
Former prime minister John Howard was more forthcoming.
‘A number of talented MPs have been suggested as (Berejiklian’s) replacement (but) I hope that Dominic Perrottet becomes the new Liberal leader, and therefore the next premier of NSW,’ Mr Howard said in a statement.
‘He has the intelligence, experience and commitment to reform that the state needs at this time.’
Another considering his options is Attorney-General Mark Speakman.
‘I’m heartened by the encouragement I’ve received from colleagues to nominate and I’ll have more to say tomorrow,’ he said on Saturday.
Another potential contender is Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres while Environment Minister Matt Kean and Police Minister David Elliott are being spoken of as possible deputies.
Signage covered much of the windows outside Ms Berejiklian’s Willoughby office (pictured) on the weekend
Whoever wins has a tough act to follow.
A wildly popular premier, Ms Berejiklian since her resignation has been lauded by everyone from state Opposition Leader Chris Minns – who said he ‘cannot fault her dedication and hard work’ – to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who praised her ‘heroic’ qualities.
Constituents on Saturday flocked to her home and office with flowers and balloons, while others put up handmade signs.
Her office window is scattered with gifts and messages from loyal supporters (pictured)
Messages began to appear just hours after she announced her resignation (pictured)
Ms Berejiklian announced her resignation as premier on Friday after the state’s corruption watchdog disclosed the 51-year-old was under investigation for potential breaches of public trust.
The ICAC says it is investigating whether she ‘exercised public functions’ in a position of conflict given her secret five-year relationship with ex-MP Daryl Maguire.
Teary and at times angry, she said on Friday she had ‘no option’ other than to resign but denied any wrongdoing.
She will also resign from parliament as soon as a by-election for her seat of Willoughby on Sydney’s Lower North Shore can be held.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet (pictured), a conservative and devout Catholic with six children, is next in line to lead the NSW Liberal Party
Reaction to the premier’s shock resignation
Prime Minister Scott Morrison: ‘Gladys is a dear friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a long time. She has displayed heroic qualities, heroic qualities as the premier of NSW.’
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews: ‘I find her to be a person of integrity, a person that works hard for her state and has been a very important partner with us.’
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk: ‘I wish Gladys Berejiklian the best for the future. Contrary to some public commentary, I have always respected Gladys and found her to be good company’.
NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro: ‘I have served as the Deputy Premier to Gladys Berejiklian for almost five years and in that time she has led this State through some of its darkest days. Everyone has the right to defend their name and I wish Gladys all the best for her future.’
Former federal treasurer and NSW MP Joe Hockey: ‘She has been the best political leader Australia has seen in years taking the state through drought, bushfires and COVID. ICAC again pulls down a fine premier for something other than corruption.’
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns: ‘For all our disagreements I have never doubted Gladys’ dedication to NSW, or her work in the service of it. I thank her for her service.’;
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet: ‘I want to again pay tribute to one of the most outstanding leaders our state has ever had. Gladys is both a colleague and a friend and her decision is a loss to public life in NSW.’