In a bruising leadership coup, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was on Friday ousted, only to be replaced by Scott Morrison.
According to a BBC report, Turnbull has been under pressure from poor polling and what he described as an “insurgency” by conservative MPs. Morrison, the treasurer, won an internal ballot 45-40 over former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – who had been Turnbull’s most vocal threat, added the BBC report.
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove conducted the ceremony at Government House to officially make Morrison the nation’s 30th Prime Minister. Morrison has described himself as the new generation of Liberal leadership who is “on your side.”
Turnbull is the fourth Australian PM in a decade to be ousted by colleagues. Even after losing the PM’s post, Turnbull reacted gracefully and said, “It has been such a privilege to be the leader of this great nation. I love Australia. I love Australians.”
The leadership row had kicked off after a row over energy policy last week ignited long-existing tensions between Turnbull, a moderate, and his party’s conservative wing.
Dutton, a conservative, then unsuccessfully challenged Turnbull on Tuesday, but his narrow defeat only stoked further discord. Morrison entered the race after Turnbull lost key backers. After a majority of MPs called for a leadership “spill”, Turnbull agreed to step down.