Former MP caught up in LNP leadership row
RETIRED Liberal MP Peter Lindsay is at the centre of a political scandal aimed at destabilising the leadership of the LNP’s JohnPaul Langbroek.
Mr Lindsay leaked private LNP polling which showed Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman was a better leadership option than current head, Mr Langbroek.
Mr Lindsay’s daughter works in Cr Newman’s office.
Mr Lindsay, the former Liberal Member for the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, sent text messages last Friday night to metropolitan news outlets showing weak support for Mr Langbroek and strong support for Cr Newman. The text says Cr Newman could be convinced to move to state politics.
Mr Lindsay was outed as the leak on Brisbane commercial radio yesterday but when contacted yester- day he initially denied involvement. When informed the text messages had come from his mobile phone and he’d signed off with his name, Mr Lindsay said he was making ‘‘ no comment whatsoever’’.
‘‘ I have no comment . . . I’m not talking to any media,’’ Mr Lindsay said. ‘‘ There’s nothing in it. What- ever’s happening in Brisbane, I’m 1000 kilometres away.’’
Mr Lindsay repeated a statement he made last year after being challenged over allegations he made that Independent federal MP Bob Katter had theatened to have him killed.
‘‘ I’m a featherduster, nobody cares what I think,’’ Mr Lindsay said.
Mr Lindsay is working on Cr David Crisafulli’s state election campaign.
The media was alive with stories on the weekend that LNP State president Bruce McIver had sought to convince LNP Moggill MP Bruce Flegg to retire and make way for Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman.
There are claims Dr Flegg was offered a plum agentgeneral post in London, allegations which may be referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
Liberal National MPs have since closed ranks around their embattled leader.
Internal party polling showing Cr Newman as LNP leader would easily remove the Bligh Government was evidently hidden from Mr Langbroek but led to a renewed attempt to convince Dr Flegg to retire.
According to a copy of the text message, obtained by the Townsville Bulletin, it was suggested Cr Newman had been asked to move to State Parliament and that Dr Flegg had been asked to move aside.
The message says: ‘‘ This is being driven by internal party polling that shows a State election result under JP ( John-Paul Langbroek) would be LNP: 52 ALP 48 and under Campbell Newman as leader the result would be LNP 61: ALP 39.
‘‘ The polling further reveals the preferred premier would be JP 15 per cent, ( Clayfield LNP MP) Tim Nichol s10 percent a nd Campbell Newman 77 per cent. These are telling figures. I understand the Lord Mayor could be convinced to move to state politics.
‘ ‘ For your i nformation. Peter Lindsay.’’
Cr Newman has said he would not rule out running for state politics.