LNP insiders believe that former high-profile Howard minister Mal Brough has moved into the Fischer electorate and has been very quietly admitted to LNP membership after initially strongly protesting the Liberal-National merger amid talk he was even contemplating creating his own party.
Insiders anticipate Brough will challenge Slipper should he not bow out gracefully.
Sources have told VEXNEWS that Slipperâ€™s use of the Fischer FDCâ€™s campaign account has been the subject of intense speculation over the last twelve months, with some members claiming that at least $4000 from a Liberal party account did not make the transition to a post-merger LNP campaign account.
Slipper is believed to have been challenged on the subject by local party members, officials and head office but has not provided explanations that satisfied them.
Given the precarious situation in the House of Representatives, the prospect of a disgruntled Slipper putting up his hand as Speaker was talked up shortly after the election. Labor sources say this has not been seriously pursued and news today that Independent egomaniac Rob Oakeshott has publicly put up his hand as Speaker suggests that the matter is all but resolved in his favour.
Slipper has been the subject of a bruising series of attacks from the local daily in his patch, the Sunshine Coast Daily, who have grown tired of the quirky maverick and are believed to have been egged on by local Liberals keen for him to move on.