Supposedly decisive man of action, new Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has started up aggressively against the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd but surprised Canberra insiders by failing to announce his new front-bench team by Friday.
Federal parliament is sitting next week so he’ll be forced to make a decision in time for the first Question Time, party room insiders have told VEXNEWS.
Showing the remarkable timing and sensitivity for which he is not well known, senior frontbencher Tony Abbott protested in a Daily Telegraph blog on Friday that he has not happy with his social policy portfolio because it was not at the :centre of the action”. Turnbull will almost certainly move him and possibly wants to drop him into the drink near the Cruising Yacht Club in Double Bay.
The reasons for Turnbull’s delay include an arm-wrestle between former party director Andrew Robb and the photogenic Julie Bishop for the Shadow Treasury and a struggle to reconcile the number of promises made prior to the party room vote with the limited number of positions.
Supporters of Sophie Mirabella MP expressed concern about the process. “He should just get on with it. Everyone wants to get stuck into the government and follow Malcolm’s more aggressive style. But we’re now all in limbo, waiting for the decision to come from on high,” one said.
Another party insider “We were expecting the announcement on Friday. I think this long wait points to a radical reshuffle. If (Costello supporter) Tony Smith were sweating anymore, there’d be a new salt water lake out in Casey.”