'Taken over by ex­trem­ists' Mal­colm Turn­bull's son urges vot­ers to dump Lib­er­als

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines - Michael McGowan

Mal­colm Turn­bull’s son, Alex Turn­bull, has urged vot­ers not to sup­port the Lib­eral party in the Went­worth by­elec­tion, say­ing the party had been taken over by “ex­trem­ists”.

Alex Turn­bull has pre­vi­ously in­di­cated sup­port for La­bor’s can­di­date, Tim Mur­ray, but in a video posted on so­cial me­dia on Thurs­day he made a dra­matic in­ter­ven­tion into the race for his fa­ther’s former seat.

Re­fer­ring to the Septem­ber lead­er­ship coup which saw his fa­ther lose power, Turn­bull said parts of the Lib­eral party had been mo­ti­vated by “a crazy agenda”.

“To me this par­tic­u­lar event seems to show the Lib­eral party has been taken over frankly by ex­trem­ists on the hard right who aren’t par­tic­u­larly mo­ti­vated to win elec­tions and aren’t par­tic­u­larly mo­ti­vated to serve the pub­lic,” he said. “They’re just mo­ti­vated by a crazy agenda.”

Cit­ing the “ter­ri­fy­ing” IPCC re­port on cli­mate change, Turn­bull high­lighted the party’s seem­ing in­abil­ity to se­cure a co­her­ent en­ergy pol­icy as a par­tic­u­lar fail­ing.

“As an in­vestor in en­ergy I’ve seen that, in par­tic­u­lar, there’s no way coal can com­pete any­more,” he said. “And yet still some would like to pros­e­cute a cul­ture war over this is­sue for what­ever their rea­sons may be.”

The Sin­ga­pore-based banker said the party needed to be sent a mes­sage.

“Some small-L lib­er­als like my­self are very up­set and frankly con­flicted due to the fact there seems to be no one we can rea­son­ably vote for,” he said.

“But here’s the thing about the Went­worth by­elec­tion. We’re go­ing to have an elec­tion in 12 months any­way [so] if you want to send a sig­nal as to which way the Lib­eral party is go­ing and your dis­plea­sure with where it is go­ing, then this is your op­por­tu­nity.

“Don’t vote for the Lib­eral party in the Went­worth by­elec­tion if you want to pull the Lib­eral party back from the brink. It’s the one clear sig­nal you can send. Con­sider it an in­ter­ven­tion for Aus­tralia, for the party and for Went­worth.”

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