Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex has divided his followers by claiming “extremists” have taken over the Liberal party following his father’s departure as prime minister – and has now called for a dramatic intervention to stop people voting for the party altogether in the upcoming Wentworth byelection.
Sitting close-up to the camera, Alex recorded himself as he pleaded with voters to shun the Liberals in the race for his father’s former seat – insisting it would act as a scare tactic.
His speech was sparked by his father’s departure as Liberal leader following the leadership spill just weeks ago, and while he didn’t name any names, Alex claimed the party has since become motivated by “a crazy agenda”.
“To me this particular event seems to show the Liberal party has been taken over frankly by extremists on the hard right who aren’t particularly motivated to win elections and aren’t particularly motivated to serve the public,” he said. “They’re just motivated by a crazy agenda.”
He went on to make reference to a recent “terrifying” IPCC report on climate change, which according to the Guardian, claimed that as little as half a degree of warming could affect hundreds of millions of people, as well as decimating corals. Alex claimed the party’s recent actions on energy policy were a particular failing.
“As an investor in energy I’ve seen that, in particular, there’s no way coal can compete anymore,” he added. “And yet still some would like to prosecute a culture war over this issue for whatever their reasons may be.”
He explained he wanted to stop votes this time round in order to scare the party into making urgent changes – ensuring a more secure future.
“Some small-L liberals like myself are very upset and frankly conflicted due to the fact there seems to be no one we can reasonably vote for,” he went on.
“But here’s the thing about the Wentworth byelection. We’re going to have an election in 12 months anyway [so] if you want to send a signal as to which way the Liberal party is going and your displeasure with where it is going, then this is your opportunity.
“Don’t vote for the Liberal party in the Wentworth byelection if you want to pull the Liberal party back from the brink. It’s the one clear signal you can send. Consider it an intervention for Australia, for the party and for Wentworth.”
The dramatic speech divided his followers as one commented: “You are an absolute disgrace. Funny how rich socialists denigrate the Liberal Party,” while another added: “Be a man and stop being manipulated by your snotty father. The slime bag has no shame, we would even use you to push his spite.”
However, others agreed with one writing: “Finally someone speaking the truth,” while another added: ‘Agreed.”
In a surprising twist, current PM Scott Morrison has since claimed Malcolm doesn’t agree with his son’s views.
Best bang for the buck you'll get in political donations in your life. Tight race, tight margin for government, big incremental effect whatever happens. If you want a federal election now this is the means by which to achieve it. https://t.co/YgTQGhQwBa
— Alex Turnbull (@alexbhturnbull) September 1, 2018
“I disagree with Alex. His father disagrees with him too,” Morrison told the ABC on Friday. “His father Malcolm Turnbull is heavily supporting Dave Sharma, the only Liberal candidate running for Wentworth.”
Meanwhile, it comes after Alex announced last month that he was going to solicit funds for the Labor candidate in Wentworth. As Tim Murray shared a link to his funding page, Alex wrote on Twitter: “Best bang for the buck you’ll get in political donations in your life. Tight race, tight margin for government, big incremental effect whatever happens. If you want a federal election now this is the means by which to achieve it.”