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LNP set to vote for new state president as Hutchinson steps aside


After months of internal unrest and power-struggles between LNP politicians and its senior executives, a new party president will be elected today, with several candidates suggested for the role.

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Current President David Hutchinson will formally relinquish the position at this evening’s state executive meeting, following sustained calls for his resignation.

Several candidates have been suggested for the role, including former LNP President Gary Spence and Vice President of the party Cynthia Hardy.

Spence has extensive election campaign experience and led the party’s headquarters for three years between 2015 and 2018.

He resigned after Labor introduced new state laws on political donations from property developers — which Mr Spence said could create a conflict with his background in urban development.

The turmoil started brewing in June, when Hutchinson was accused of leaking internal polling that was critical of Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, months out from a state election.

The damaging leak prompted Frecklington to publicly call out what she referred to as “backroom bullies” within the party organisation.

Several MPs, including federal frontbencher Peter Dutton, also called for Hutchinson’s resignation, describing his position as “untenable”.

Despite months of mediation meetings between the parliamentary and party-wings to resolve the internal friction, Hutchinson emailed party members late last week signalling his intention to resign today.

He said everyone had a responsibility to do everything in their power to ensure an LNP victory at the October 31 state election.

“For some of us, that will mean stepping up into new roles and taking on new responsibilities in the coming months,” he said.

“For others, it might mean thinking about whether we are the best people to fill those vital campaign roles, or whether we should allow others to come through.

“There is no member who is exempt from asking himself or herself what our party needs from us at this time, including the leadership.”

It’s understood the meeting will be held via zoom this afternoon, with an acting president to be selected to lead the party-wing until the election.

– ABC / state political reporter Allyson Horn

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