Peter Dutton has denied he’s a ‘wrecker’ 24 hours after losing the Liberal leadership battle to become Australia’s 30th prime minister.
The federal frontbencher was defiant when he was tracked down by Seven News in Brisbane on Saturday and asked he felt responsible for taking down former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in a tumultuous week in politics.
‘No and I’m very proud of the actions that we’ve taken,’ Mr Dutton said during the candid television interview.
His comments come a day after he challenged for the Liberal leadership and lost 45-40 to new prime minister Scott Morrison.
Despite a second crushing loss for the leadership within three days, he believed Mr Morrison is the best man to lead the party to winning the next federal election.
Mr Dutton pledged his ‘100 per cent loyalty’ to Mr Morrison, whom he wants to see defeat Bill Shorten as elected prime minister.
Peter Dutton (pictured) has flown home to Brisbane, where he gave a candid television interview on Saturday
‘I think we’ve now got a man who’s honourable and will do well for our country,’ Mr Dutton.
‘At the last election under Malcolm Turnbull, we lost 14 seats and 13 ministers resigned from cabinet. There were serious issues and we were on our way to annihilation at the next election. I think we’re now in a much better position.’
When asked if he was disappointed, Mr Dutton said he was ‘exhilarated’ by the support received from party colleagues and insisted they were all now united behind Mr Morrison.
Mr Dutton believes new prime minister Scott Morrison (pictured with his family) is the best man for the job
Mr Dutton has had a conversation with the new prime minister about his former Home Affairs portfolio, which he’s happy to reclaim but said it was a decision ‘Í’ll leave with him.’
The Queenslander is not worried about the possibility of losing his seat of Dixon at the next election, which he’s held for 17 years.
‘My seat has always been marginal and something I don’t take for granted,’ Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton (pictured) has no hard feelings about losing the Liberal leadership against Scott Morrison
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) spent his first day of freedom with wife Lucy, their daughter and son-in-law
It was the second time within 24 hours Mr Dutton insisted he had no regrets over his successful attempt to overthrow Mr Turnbull.
‘I think it’s a turning point and a healing point for the Liberal Party, I think we now look forward instead of back,’he told the ABC on Friday.
‘I only nominated because I believe that I was a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity to lead the Liberal Party.’