All quiet on Nahan fate

The West Australian - - NEWS - NICK BUTTERLY

Se­nior WA Lib­er­als are re­fus­ing to com­ment on sug­ges­tions Mike Nahan is pre­par­ing to quit as Op­po­si­tion Leader this week as Dr Nahan in­sists to col­leagues he is stay­ing put.

Dr Nahan has also flatly re­jected claims he re­cently drafted a letter of res­ig­na­tion, even as Lib­er­als con­tin­ued to pri­vately ques­tion the Op­po­si­tion Leader’s per­for­mance.

Deputy Lib­eral leader Liza Har­vey, Up­per House leader Peter Collier and shadow at­tor­ney-gen­eral Michael Mischin de­clined to an­swer ques­tions on whether Dr Nahan had re­cently in­di­cated to them he wanted to stand down as leader.

The West Aus­tralian re­ported yes­ter­day that se­nior Lib­er­als be­lieved Dr Nahan was con­sid­er­ing step­ping down, pos­si­bly be­fore the com­ing win­ter par­lia­men­tary break.

Ar­riv­ing at Par­lia­ment, key front­benchers were united in their pub­lic sup­port of Dr Nahan, main­tain­ing he would lead the party to the next elec­tion. Fronting re­porters, Dr Nahan said only that he was fo­cused on hold­ing the McGowan Gov­ern­ment to ac­count. Dr Nahan did not an­swer when asked if he had con­sid­ered re­sign­ing. His of­fice later is­sued a state­ment re­fut­ing sug­ges­tions he had re­cently drafted a res­ig­na­tion letter. Dr Nahan briefly ad­dressed the lead­er­ship story dur­ing a reg­u­lar Lib­eral par­ty­room meet­ing, say­ing he was not go­ing any­where. It is un­der­stood Mr Collier also touched on the is­sue, stand­ing by Dr Nahan. But other Lib­er­als pri­vately said there was grow­ing lead­er­ship talk among back­benchers, ques­tion­ing whether the is­sue could come to a head over the com­ing three weeks. Mrs Har­vey, con­sid­ered the fron­trun­ner to re­place Dr Nahan, re­fused to com­ment on sug­ges­tions she could take over as leader, say­ing she was not go­ing to get into “hy­po­thet­i­cal dis­cus­sions”. Asked if Dr Nahan would lead the party to the elec­tion, she said: “That’s the in­ten­tion.”

She said she was “dis­ap­pointed” at me­dia re­ports on the lead­er­ship, in­sist­ing she was loyal to Dr Nahan.

Shadow health min­is­ter Sean L’Es­trange, also con­sid­ered a pos­si­ble lead­er­ship con­tender, said Dr Nahan “should” be leader at the next State elec­tion.

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