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Relive the live news from NEWS NOW about today's Australian political drama.

Scott Morrison has been announced as the new liberal party leader after defeating Peter Dutton 45-40 today.
Source: Nine


04:38: "I will leave Parliament in – not – not too long ago." As I have always said, "Mr. Turnbull told reporters at his press conference before parting, AAP reports.

Mr. Turnbull is expected to leave the parliament for the next federal election.

04:28:
"We are united, we have had a thoroughly traditional approach, so that has been good," said Mr. Turnbull about his government.

4:26:
Malcolm Turnbull thanked the country for their years of support and called it "a privilege".

04:07: "It may surprise you on a day like this, but I remain very positive and optimistic about the future of our nation," Turnbull said when addressing the nation for the last time as the Prime Minister of Australia.

03:45: Malcolm Turnbull holds a media conference at 2:00 PM local time (sixteen NZ time).

03:38: Former liberal party leader John Hewson told ABC News that Malcolm Turnbull had "run this small group of insurgents" and did not try to manage them ".

"I think he paid the price for that, he let them run too far and too fast and they knocked him down, but they really attacked the essence of what the liberal party is," said Hewson.

03:35: The new liberal leader Scott Morrison has returned to the ministerial wing with his new deputy, Josh Frydenberg, reports Guardian Australia.

03:23: Scott Morrison has left the party room, reports Guardian Australia. It is expected that he will appeal to the nation later today.

The former Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said: "I think we now have a new generation, a next generation of leadership."

"Two incredible people with extraordinary integrity and ability, which will give Australia a real change of success."

03:21: Peter Dutton has announced his allegiance to Scott Morrison after his defeat, reports Guardian Australia.

"My course from here is to provide absolute loyalty to Scott Morrison to ensure we win the election and beat Bill Shorten," said Mr. Dutton.

03:17: Malcolm Turnbull left the party room with Julie Bishop, reports Guardian Australia.

03:06:
Government whip Nola Marino has confirmed the news to the media, saying that Scott Morrison won the Liberal Party Leadership Contest 45-40, reports ABC News.

"The successful candidate was Scott Morrison, he won this vote with 45 votes for 40 for Peter Dutton," said Ms. Marino.

03:03:
The deputy leader of the liberal party is named as Josh Frydenberg, who succeeds Julie Bishop, reports AAP.

His future will be decided at a meeting of the liberal party that will be held at 2:00 PM NZT.
Source: 1 NEWS


03:00: Scott Morrison will be the 30th Prime Minister of Australia, reports Guardian Australia.

The meeting with the banquet hall is under way.

02:53: Scott Morrison will be the next Prime Minister of Australia after winning the Liberal Party Leadership Contest 45-40, ABC News reports.

02:50: Julie Bishop has been eliminated in the first ballot, ABC News reports. It is now between Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison for party leader.

02:42: Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison are all contenders for party leader, reports Guardian Australia.

02:36:
The spill is performed between 45 and 40, reports Guardian Australia. A leadership contest will take place and Malcolm Turnbull is done with politics.

02:20: Malcolm Turnbull walked into the party room with intimate ally Craig Laundy, reports Guardian Australia.

02:17:
Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison are approaching the banquet meeting, reports Guardian Australia.

02:15: The Liberal banquet meeting to decide the future leader starts at 12.20 (local time), reports AAP.

The meeting was expected to start at noon, but was postponed while the 43 signatures to a petition requesting the meeting were verified.

Challenger Peter Dutton met Mr. Turnbull just before Mr. Turnbull tweeted.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and Secretary of State Julie Bishop also dispute the leadership.

01:45: Malcolm Turnbull has received a petition from Peter Dutton calling for a liberal banquet meeting.

The Prime Minister confirmed on Twitter that he has received the 43 signatures and they are currently being verified by the whips, after which the meeting will be called and the liberal leadership will be spilled.

Peter Dutton is free to challenge Malcolm Turnbull for his leadership after the Advocate General had found on balance that he would probably remain in parliament.

The liberal challenger was faced with questions about whether he is eligible to sit in parliament on his financial interests in community-funded childcare centers.

Attorney General Stephen Donaghue QC found that there is "some risk" that the High Court finds that Mr. Dutton has a conflict of interest about federal payments to childcare centers.

"Although this risk can not be fully discounted, it remains necessary for the Court to establish an agreement in which Mr. Dutton was interested," said Mr. Donaghue in legal advice published on Friday.

"I am unable to identify such an agreement.

"I consider it unlikely that Mr. Dutton will be disqualified due to payments to RHT Investments under the Integration Support Program."

Section 44 of the Constitution prohibits parliamentary persons who have "any direct or indirect financial interest in the public service of the Commonwealth".

Donaghue says it will not be possible to draw a definitive conclusion without more detailed information.

Mr Dutton said that Mr Donaghue's opinion supported the previous legal advice he had received.

"The consistent and powerful advice I have received explains the false, unfounded and malicious statements about my suitability for the spirit," he said in a statement.

Constitutional expert George Williams said that the opinion of the Advocate General was "on the spot."

"It is more likely that Peter Dutton will not be disqualified, but this can not be stated with certainty," Professor Williams told AAP.

"As the SG says, there is a risk that it is in conflict with department 44. Only the High Court can resolve these doubts."

The verdict paves the way for Mr. Dutton to challenge Mr. Turnbull for leadership during an expected afternoon party meeting in Canberra.

The Prime Minister asked the Advocate General to deliver an opinion before the meeting to ensure that MEPs knew that Mr Dutton was legally capable of sitting in Parliament.

Senior liberal Mathias Cormann said that Mr. Dutton is the man who reclaims John Howard's battleships and unites the broken party.

"Peter Dutton fits very well with hard-working, ambitious Australians, I believe he will be able to reconnect with the Howard comrades and bring them back into the liberal herd", Senator Cormann said Friday to Sky News.

"He knows what it takes to connect with families in Australia who want to get ahead."

Senator Cormann, who is a close friend of Mr Dutton, said that the former Minister of the Interior was best able to unite the liberals and win the next federal elections.


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