Australia

NSW Liberal branch votes to expel Turnbull over campaign to unseat Abbott

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A Sydney branch voted to kick Malcolm Turnbull out of the party, in a non-binding vote that exposes ongoing tension within the rank-and-file

A Sydney branch of the Liberal party has voted to expel former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, in a sign of ongoing division within the party over the former prime minister's legacy.

The Australian reports the Roseville branch passed the expulsion motion 16–2, with members apparently citing Mr Turnbull’s decision not to publicly campaign in the Wentworth by-election.

They were also motivated by Mr Turnbull, his wife Lucy and his son Alex all ‘liking’ an Instagram account dedicated to ousting Tony Abbott from the seat of Warringah.

The Liberal Party's Roseville branch wants former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull expelled
The Liberal Party's Roseville branch wants former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull expelled
AAP

The motion has no power on its own, but will now proceed to the party’s federal electorate conference, and could ultimately make it to a state conference.

A spokesperson for the NSW Liberals told SBS News the vote was not binding. 

“Branches are entitled to debate political issues and public policy. However, such motions are not binding on the NSW Division or reflect its view," the spokesperson said. 

The Roseville branch of the party, based in the north of Sydney, hosts events with some of the Liberals' more conservative MPs, including Tony Abbott.

Roseville is in the federal electorate of Bradfield, held by cabinet minister Paul Fletcher. A spokesman for Mr Fletcher said he would not comment on internal party matters.

Paul Fletcher MP (left) shakes hands with Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Paul Fletcher MP (left) shakes hands with Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
AAP

Last year, it even hosted an evening with Cory Bernardi, who sensationally quit the Liberal party and formed his own Australian Conservatives over concerns the party had abandoned its conservative ‘base’ under a centre-right leadership direction.

SBS News has contacted the Roseville branch for comment. 

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