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Dutton joins leadership stoush, says Hutchinson should resign


Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has accused state president David Hutchinson of a campaign to destabilise LNP Leader Deb Frecklington and says he should resign.

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After internal polling was leaked to a tabloid newspaper, casting Frecklington in a bad light, supporters have this week rallied behind the state Opposition Leader.

With an election looming, the parliamentary wing of the Liberal National Party backed Frecklington in her secretive stoush with “backroom boys” in the party organisation.

A central figure in the stoush has seemingly been LNP president David Hutchinson, who also receives consultancy fees from former LNP life member and major donor turned political rival Clive Palmer.

Today, the most senior federal member of the LNP, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, said that although Hutchinson was an “incredibly decent person” the time had come for him to resign.

“The branch members are outraged that the president of the day would be involved in a campaign to destabilise the state leader and he must resign,” Dutton told 4BC radio, adding that he already expected Hutchinson to stop working for Palmer.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk interrupted question time in parliament to raise the latest development in the ongoing LNP in-fighting. Frecklington, for her part, said she would not be “distracted” from her role holding the government to account.

Hutchinson could not be contacted for comment. Palmer has previous criticised Frecklington for her role in the stoush, going so far as to accuse her of breaching the human rights of his “staff”.

Today, Palmer confirmed Hutchinson would no longer be on his staff, saying that although he was disappointed by the decision he understood Hutchinon’s “strong desire to do all he can to ensure the LNP is elected”.

The state election will be held on October 31 and the LNP still has to navigate the pandemic response, the Government’s latest restrictions on donations and campaign financing, and an electorate that may still be supporting the incumbents in a crisis. On Wednesday, Frecklington also made reference to compulsory preferential voting being a hurdle for the LNP.

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