Malcolm’s desperate bid to stay in power: How Turnbull ‘promised Peter Dutton he would dump Julie Bishop and make HIM the deputy PM if his leadership went unchallenged’
- Peter Dutton claimed Turnbull offered him the deputy leader position last August
- He made the bombshell claims in new Sky News series Bad Blood/New Blood
- Dutton claimed he shot down the offer stating it wasn’t ‘credible’
- Turnbull has denied the allegations saying he wouldn’t give up Julie Bishop’s job
Peter Dutton has claimed Malcolm Turnbull offered him the deputy prime minister position before last year’s leadership spill which saw him ousted as PM.
The Home Affairs Minister made the bombshell claims in part one of new Sky News documentary Bad Blood/New Blood which premieres on Tuesday night.
Mr Dutton revealed the former PM approached him following a partyroom meeting last August and urged him to stay on as Home Affairs Minister.
‘I said, “Malcolm, that position is untenable and I can’t accept that”,’ Mr Dutton told the network, The Australian reported.
He then claimed Turnbull offered him then Deputy Leader Julie Bishop’s position – which he also shot down.
Peter Dutton has claimed Malcolm Turnbull offered him the deputy prime minister position in the wake of last year’s leadership spill which saw him ousted as leader
‘It’s all pretty high-stakes discussions and a desire to see the best possible outcome, so in my mind an easy transition is always the best but … he offered me the deputy leader position,’ he added.
‘I said to him, given what had just taken place, that wasn’t credible and it wasn’t his to gift either.’
Mr Turnbull’s office has since denied the claims, saying he was in no position to offer the job to Mr Dutton without support from the Coalition.
He also claimed he would not have asked Julie Bishop to give up her job as his deputy.
Mr Turnbull’s supporters, who were not named, instead claimed Finance Minister Mathias Cormann suggested Dutton take the job after the spill.
Mr Cormann denied the allegations claiming he had supported Mr Turnbull after the party had turned against him.
During the first part of the series, Dutton, who had been vying for the top role, also took a swipe at the former Liberal leader saying Prime Minister Scott Morrison is doing the job Turnbull could never do.
Dutton reignited his feud with Turnbull days after the May federal election, saying the Liberal Party would have been nearly wiped out with Turnbull at the helm.
Turnbull (pictured with his wife Lucy in 2017) was replaced in August by the conservative wing of the Liberal Party, which feared the government’s drift to the left was hurting its electoral chances
Dutton claimed Turnbull offered him then Deputy Leader Julie Bishop’s position which he also shot down
‘If Malcolm Turnbull was still leader, we would have been annihilated,’ he told the Pine Rivers Press last month.
‘We would have Bill Shorten in power and our country would be on the road to disaster.’
Mr Turnbull was displaced in August by the conservative wing of the Liberal Party, which feared the government’s drift to the left was hurting its electoral chances.
Mr Dutton was seen as the conductor of the coup – and has publicly criticised Mr Turnbull before saying he didn’t have a ‘political bone in his body.’
He also criticised Mr Turnbull’s rise and approach to the country’s top job, claiming he had no plan of action in place after he came to power.
‘In 2016, Malcolm ran the worst campaign in Liberal Party history, and we ended up losing 15 seats and were left with a one-seat majority which just made the Parliament unmanageable. We were paralysed,’ Mr Dutton said.
‘Countless opportunities to strengthen the Government or nail Shorten passed us by because Malcolm couldn’t make a decision.’