Australia

'A snake': Nigel Farage celebrates the demise of Malcolm Turnbull

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Nigel Farage has received a rousing reception at a major conservative conference in Sydney.

British politician Nigel Farage has revelled in the demise of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull while commending Australia's tough stance on immigration.

The Brexit Party leader is in Sydney this weekend to headline the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), billed as one of the country's largest gatherings of conservatives.

Speaking with SBS News, Mr Farage celebrated the fall of conservative leaders who he said were not true conservatives, including former UK prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May, and Australia's Malcolm Turnbull.

"Mr Turnbull was masquerading as a conservative," he said, adding that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was a "decent, honest, sincere guy".

Mr Farage told SBS News that Australia's immigration policy was "very sensible".

"You do it according to what skill sets you need in what sectors, it all makes sense ... The basic principles of the Australian system are the right ones," he said.

Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year.
Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year.
AAP

"The difference with the UK is we went from net migration of 30,000 per year, which we had for about 60 years, to 300,000 a year and we wonder why our roads are full and why our hospital waiting times have gone up ...  We need to use similar principles to Australia," he said.

"There is this strain of globalist argument that says we're all global citizens and there should be a total free movement across the world. It doesn't work and it's not what people in a democracy want."

Mr Farage also issued a warning to new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to get the UK out of the EU by 31 October.

"I say deliver or die," he said.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage on the weekend.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
Getty

He said panic over a no deal Brexit was overblown.

"Business will adapt incredibly quickly... A no deal Brexit gives us the opportunity to become a lot more competitive than our European neighbours."

Turnbull is 'a snake'

Mr Farage was greeted by a standing ovation as he took the stage to deliver the keynote address at CPAC on Saturday morning.

He said the Coalition's surprise election victory was a result of ousting Mr Turnbull, calling him a "snake" who "hijacked" the Liberal party.

"Your Liberal party, your conservative movement was hijacked by the other side, taken over by Malcolm Turnbull, who pretended to be a conservative but actually turned out to be a snake."

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Nigel Farage celebrates the demise of Malcolm Turnbull
Nigel Farage celebrates the demise of Malcolm Turnbull

"He was gone, you got someone who was conservative and guess what ... those in the middle of Melbourne and Sydney may not like [Scott Morrison] but where real people live, they voted for him and he won it."

The CPAC conference was first held in the US in 1974, with Ronald Reagan giving the inaugural keynote speech.

It has since become one of the main events on the US conservative calendar, attracting tens of thousands of people each year.

This is the first time the conference has been held in Australia, with a lineup including former PM Tony Abbott and former federal Labor leader Mark Latham.

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