In his official resignation letter, released on Wednesday, ousted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull blasted the “malevolent and pointless week of madness” that saw him overthrown as leader of the Liberal party and replaced by former treasurer Scott Morrison.
While his decision to resign from his role as an MP will come as no surprise, after he admitted he would not remain in the parliament as a former prime minister during his outgoing speech, it was not official until today.
Sharing the letter on Facebook, the member for Wentworth thanked the Australians who have contacted him to “express their disgust” at the events which took place in Canberra last week, following not one, but two leadership spills in the Liberal partyroom.
“I am writing to thank you for giving me the honour of representing Wentworth in the House of Representatives these past 14 years,” the letter reads. “Your support has enabled me to be a Minister and, for the past almost three years, Prime Minister. Everything I have achieved for Australia in public life has been due to you – built on the foundation of this community, which Lucy and I love and where we have always lived.”
Discussing the events that saw him overturned as prime minister, Turnbull wrote: “I don’t want to dwell on recent shocking and shameful events – a malevolent and pointless week of madness that disgraced our Parliament and appalled our nation.
“As you know, I have always said that the best place for former PMs is out of the Parliament, and recent events amply demonstrate why. I will be resigning as the Member for Wentworth later this week and you should expect a by-election before too long. So this is my last letter to you as your federal member.”
Turnbull’s resignation – which he said will come “later this week” – will trigger a by-election in his seat of Wentworth, eastern Sydney, and candidates have already identified themselves as in the running.
Labor’s preselected candidate is Tim Murray, while Liberal councillor, and sister of Tony Abbott, Christine Forster, as well as former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma are hoping to bag the seat.
Turnbull’s predecessor Abbott, who is believed to have been instrumental in his downfall, told the Guardian Australia that his sister “would be a wonderful competitor and she’d be a great local member if elected”.