Friday, 5 August 2011

Nick Minchin says Malcolm Turnbull has only himself to blame for losing leadership

Former Liberal powerbroker Nick Minchin has launched a withering attack on Malcolm Turnbull, saying he blames everyone but himself for losing the Liberal leadership in 2009.

In a letter to The Australian newspaper today, the former South Australian senator said Mr Turnbull was “preoccupied” with Liberal Party conservatives, and urged him to be a team player.

“His preoccupation reveals a man who can't get over losing the Liberal leadership in 2009, and is desperate for someone to blame for taking it away from him - hence his repeated attacks on conservatives,” he said.

“Turnbull has only himself to blame for the failure of his year-long leadership of the Liberal Party. It was his deficiencies as a leader - not those terrible conservatives - that led to his demise.”

At a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra this week, Mr Turnbull cautioned against extremism in the Liberal Party.

He said elections were won in the political centre and not by convincing ardent supporters to “vote for you with even more enthusiasm”.

The former Liberal leader said the party “must remain a broad church” if it was to return to government.

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