Peter Dutton Held A 40-Second Press Conference To Read Out A Tweet
That was quick.
Peter Dutton today convened a press conference to pretty much read out a tweet.
After hours of speculation as to whether he would call another party room meeting, and reports that a petition supporting him as Prime Minister was circulating, Dutton took to Twitter to make his position clear.
"A few minutes ago I spoke with Malcolm Turnbull to advise him I believed the majority of the party room no longer supported his leadership," he said.
"Accordingly, I asked him to convene a party room meeting at which I would challenge for the leadership of the Parliamentary Liberal Party."
Less than 30 minutes later, and Dutton was fronting the media. This was his first media appearance in hours, after a full night of on-again, off-again leaks from every side of parliament.
Dutton didn't comment on whether he had the numbers for a leadership bid. Nor did he comment Nationals MP Kevin Hogan threatening to join the crossbench if there was another spill, or else on the legal advice refuting reports he was ineligible to sit in Parliament that his team had sent out literally minutes earlier.
No, he essentially read out his tweet.
"I just wanted to make a couple of brief remarks," he said, with 'brief' being the operative word'.
"... early this morning, I called the Prime Minister to advise him that it was my judgement that the majority of the party room no longer supported his leadership. As such, I asked him to convene a meeting of the Liberal party, at which I would challenge for the leadership of the Liberal party."
It took about 40 seconds, and then he was out of there.
"Do you have the numbers, Mr Dutton?" a reporter called out to Dutton's retreating back. There wasn't an answer.
The former Home Affairs minister promised to front media later today, so presumably we'll have some answers.
Watch this space. Or rather, watch the live blog where we've got you covered with all things #libspill today.