Leadership crisis: Australian Parliament adjourned early following government motion

CANBERRA, 23 AUGUST 2018 (SBS) – The Turnbull government has successfully moved to adjourn Parliament amid a battle over the Liberal leadership, with Bill Shorten arguing the coalition is “irreparably split” and should hang their heads in shame.

Malcolm Turnbull has been told he no longer has majority support in the Liberal party room, with Peter Dutton expected to win a ballot once a meeting can be convened.

So far 13 ministers have resigned, stepping up pressure on the prime minister to quit.

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke quickly ripped into the “extraordinary” development.

“What is happening right now is the government have decided this place has fallen apart so completely that they are dissolving the parliament for the day entirely,” he told the lower house on Thursday.

Burke said the coalition government was completely self-obsessed and had no regard for Australian voters.

“There will be no question time today because they don’t know who their ministers are … they don’t know who their prime minister is,” he thundered across the chamber.

“There will be no question time today because those opposite have stopped governing.”

Shorten said adjourning Parliament was a clear admission of failure and the coalition should hang their heads in shame.

“The government may adjourn the parliament, but they cannot outrun the weight of failure of this government,” he said.

“If anyone needs to depart from this place, it is not the parliament, it is this government of Australia who has lost the confidence not just of its own backbench, not just of the opposition, you’ve lost the confidence of everyday Australians.

“Shame on you,” he said.

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