Mal Brough silent on Turnbull praise for rival
Howard government minister Mal Brough has nothing to say about Malcolm Turnbull’s support for a rival in the contest for suspended Speaker Peter Slipper’s seat.
HOWARD government minister Mal Brough has nothing to say about Malcolm Turnbull’s support for a rival in the contest for suspended Speaker Peter Slipper’s seat. Mr Brough is seeking preselection to run for the Liberal National Party (LNP) in Mr Slipper’s Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher. But his push to resurrect his federal political career has been dealt a blow after star political strategist James McGrath also threw his hat into the ring.
LNP figures have told News Limited Mr McGrath’s move on Fisher was planned amid the fallout over Mr Brough’s role in advising James Ashby, before the staffer launched a sexual harassment lawsuit against Mr Slipper. Liberals including Mr Turnbull, fellow Liberal MP Jamie Briggs and Senator Simon Birmingham have turned to Twitter to praise Mr McGrath as a talented contender.Mr Turnbull, who praised Mr McGrath’s political mind and campaigning skills, denied his support amounted to interference in the preselection process.”Certainly not,” he told ABC Radio. “He’s a great candidate and so is Mal Brough.”I speak well of all my colleagues and James McGrath has done an outstanding job as a party official and as a political campaigner.”
News Limited said LNP figures worried about Mr Brough’s involvement with Mr Ashby were also concerned that he was subject to an ongoing police and Crime and Misconduct Commission probe. Before Mr Brough admitted to having links with Mr Ashby, media reports said Mr McGrath would likely seek preselection in the seat of Fairfax, which neighbours Fisher.