Abbott’s man for Lib boss
ANDREW Hirst, a former staffer of Tony Abbott, is firming as favourite to take over the Liberal Party after a showdown in Canberra this week.
Mr Hirst, who was Mr Abbott’s press secretary-turnedpolitical adviser, is believed to be frontrunner to replace veteran federal director Tony Nutt, who resigned in March.
A subcommittee of the federal executive invited Mr Hirst and other candidates including WA director Andrew Cox and former NSW director Mark Neeham to Canberra this week to submit applications.
A senior Liberal source said Malcolm Turnbull’s favoured candidate Andrew Bragg, the acting federal director, is no longer being considered for the role amid infighting over the appointment within the organisational wing of the party.
State presidents launched an eleventh-hour bid to block the appointment of Mr Bragg, the policy director at the Menzies Research Centre, in favour of Mr Hirst, who runs Canberra operations for research firm Crosby Textor.
The Sunday Telegraph understands the committee will recommend the federal executive tick off on Mr Hirst’s appointment after it voted to back his candidacy.