Dumb pol­i­tics

For­mer MP caught up in LNP lead­er­ship row

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - by Tony Rag­gatt tony. rag­gatt@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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