Defiant Australia PM Turnbull refuses to 'give in to bullies'

Defiant Australia PM Turnbull refuses to 'give in to bullies'

Defiant Australia PM Turnbull refuses to 'give in to bullies'

He voted for the more moderate Turnbull in Tuesday's internal vote but is also a close friend of Dutton, a senior leader of the party's conservative faction.

If the petition arrives showing this, the meeting will be held at midday on Friday and Turnbull will not stand as a candidate and leave parliament.

Australia's beleaguered prime minister was resisting pressure to quit as opponents from within his party struggled on Thursday to show that he had lost the government's support.

But in a major blow, his influential Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, along with the employment and education ministers, said they no longer supported him.

Senator Seselja, who formally resigned his position as assistant minister for science, jobs and innovation on Thursday, said he would again support Mr Dutton, but refused to say Mr Turnbull was out of touch.

Many Liberal MPs openly admit they don't have a clue about who will be the prime minister and leader of their party by early afternoon.

Despite voters seeming to want Ms Bishop, she only enjoys the support of four of her WA Parliamentary colleagues in today's Liberal leadership ballot.

Mr Turnbull's warning he will quit Federal Parliament if he loses the election has upset some of his colleagues.

Turnbull tweeted half an hour before the meeting was due to start on Friday that Dutton had been provided him with the 43 signatures.

"I am optimistic about the potential of our people and will commit all my energy and experience to ensure the best years of our nation lie ahead of us". "I'm sorry. You deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up to you for the past 10 years", wrote Nationals MP Darren Chester, whose party is in a coalition with the Liberals.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop will stand for the leadership, local media reported.

No Australian prime minister has lasted a full three-year term since John Howard lost power in 2007 after more than 11 years in office.

Coupled with the government long trailing the opposition Labor party in opinion polls, the move sparked a revolt that quickly spiralled into calls for his head.

"And amazed that the party would think it was a good idea to replace the Prime Minister, who is running a good government, creating jobs, balancing the budget and no-one has yet given a reason", Mr Pyne told Channel Nine. "I'm sorry. You deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up to you for the past 10 years", wrote Nationals MP Darren Chester, whose party is in a coalition with the Liberals.

Turnbull said he wanted the government's legal advice on Dutton's eligibility presented to Friday's meeting.

The former minister's interest in two Brisbane childcare centres that may have received direct government subsidies since July this year could put him in breach of the constitution. "You've heard it straight from the horse's mouth - by tomorrow at lunchtime, Julie Bishop will definitely be Prime Minister", he said.

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