Scott Morrison defends intervening in NSW Liberal pre-selections

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Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has had a significant victory in a long-running internal Liberal stoush over NSW pre-selections, after a court challenge against the legitimacy of his hand-picked candidates was dismissed.

The NSW Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed a claim that pre-selections of 12 Liberal candidates by the Prime Minister, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and former president of the federal Liberal Party, Christine McDiven, were invalid. 

ABC News reports that the case centred on a decision made late last month by the Liberal Party’s federal executive to appoint Mr Morrison, Mr Perrottet and Ms McDiven to pick candidates.

Initially, the three-person committee endorsed only sitting MPs Sussan Ley, Alex Hawke and Trent Zimmerman in the seats of Farrer, Mitchell and North Sydney respectively.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is a close ally of the PM. Photo: ABC News / Adam Kennedy.

READ MORE: Liberals try to force Alex Hawke MP to end impasse over election candidates.

However, on Saturday, nine other candidates were pre-selected hours before the committee’s term was due to expire.

On Tuesday, the court ruled this process was valid and Mr Morrison later defended his decision to intervene in the NSW pre-selections.

In an interview with ABC 7.30, Mr Morrison said he made the controversial decision to intervene because he is “very serious about having great women” in his ranks.

READ MORE: NSW Liberals to take Alex Hawke MP to the Supreme Court.

Scott Morrison defended his decision to intervene in the NSW pre-selections.

Mr Morrison said he was concerned the futures of Environment Minister Sussan Ley and the member for Reid, Fiona Martin, were under threat from “factions.”

“I’m asked all the time, ‘Why wouldn’t the Prime Minister do more about getting good women in Parliament and stand up for the women in Parliament?'” he said.

“So, I stood up for the women in my team… That was what the principal reason was and people know that.”

Mr Morrison is expected to fire the starting gun for the election campaign in the coming days and Australians will go to the polls in mid-May.

Source: ABC News.

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