Prime Minister Scott Morrison has berated Liberal apparatchiks for playing “stupid games” with preselections after Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis’ extraordinary attack on a NSW state MP, accusing him of “bullying, betrayal and backstabbing”.
Adding to the party’s ongoing woes over bullying allegations and low female representation, Ms Sudmalis on Monday announced she would quit Parliament and said MP Gareth Ward had “flexed his vengeance on strong Liberal women”, undermining her with branch stacking and unethical conduct.
Responding to Ms Sudmalis’ speech ‚Äď made under the legal cover of parliamentary privilege ‚Äď Mr Morrison said the MP had genuine concerns about her treatment at the hands of Liberals in her electorate. He has directed the organisational wing of the party to establish a “rigorous and confidential” complaints process.
“Party selections and local party politics can frankly get a bit not focused on the real issues and people can get all caught up in these little skirmishes in branches,” the Prime Minister said on Tuesday, noting Labor faced similar issues recently with the scandal surrounding western Sydney MP Emma Husar.