Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces leadership spill next week

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will face a spill motion against his leadership early next week after West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins emailed party room colleagues to announce he would push for the PM’s leadership to be put to a vote. The spill motion will be seconded by MP Don Randall, with a third WA Liberal, Dennis Jensen, saying he will support it. The ABC has been told the MPs called the Prime Minister shortly before sending the email.

The knighthood issue was for many the final proof of a disconnection with the people…The last time this outpouring of concern happened was when we were being led to support the Rudd Government’s ETS, and faced with this erosion of our base support we acted. I think that we must bring this to a head, and test the support of the leadership in the party room.

Liberal MP Luke Simpkins’ email

Mr Simpkins said he had submitted a motion to the Government’s chief whip asking for the spill to be conducted via a secret ballot at Tuesday’s party room meeting. The Government’s chief whip Philip Ruddock confirmed he had received notice of the motion and said Mr Abbott had “indicated this motion will be listed for discussion at the Liberal Party Meeting on Tuesday”.