Christopher Pyne Lashes Unnamed Conservative MP For Cowardly Quotes

An unnamed MP said the PM would kneel 'at the conservative altar.'

11/07/2016 9:56 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:57 PM AEST
Getty Images
MPs who anonymously questioned Malcolm Turnbull's authority are acting out of "cowardice" Christopher Pyne says.

Liberal Party members who give anonymous quotes about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's authority to the press following the Coalition's tight electoral win are acting out of "cowardice", Industry Minister Christopher Pyne says.

Pyne's comments come after an unnamed MP told News Corp the close election result would see the conservative arm of the Government dictate policy to Liberal moderates.

"His theory was to win and win comfortably so the conservatives would all have to kneel at the altar of Malcolm Turnbull; well, I think someone else will be kneeling at the conservative altar now," the MP reportedly told News Corp.

Pyne rejected the comments on Monday.

"I think whoever said that, if they did really say it, they should put their names to things like that because it sounds very brave and chest beating when you say it anonymously but I'd love a person who says things like that to actually put their name to it," Pyne said.

"Without their name, it is just cowardice obviously.

"I am not going to respond to cowardly statements in the press from anonymous sources who haven't got the wherewithal and the strength of character to put their names to those kinds of flowery statements."

Before the narrow election win was claimed on Sunday, Turnbull faced a week of post-poll sniping in the press over what went wrong in the campaign.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday warned the party leadership that on superannuation reform it cannot ignore the concerns of voters.

In May, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced a $1.6 million tax-free cap on the amount of accumulated super that a person could transfer into retirement accounts, as well as a proposal to limit lifetime non-concessional contributions to superannuation to $500,000.

Conservative Liberal Senator Eric Abetz last week told The Australian the policy change had affected voters and Liberal volunteers, who declined to help the party.

Last week Coalition Senator Cory Bernardi and WA MP Andrew Hastie criticised aspects of the election campaign.

Hastie, a government backbencher and former SAS soldier, argued it was disconnected from regular people, and argued aspects of the Coalition's superannuation policy as a burden during the campaign.

The Prime Minister, who started back at work in Canberra on Monday, is reportedly considering promoting conservative MPs to replace three junior minsters -- Peter Hendy, Wyatt Roy and Senator Richard Colbeck -- lost at the election.

The Australian Financial Review reports Queensland backbencher and conservative MP George Christensen as a potential frontrunner to move from the backbench to parliamentary secretary, with fellow conservatives Zed Seselja and Michael Sukkar tipped for the outer ministry.

LNP Senator Matt Canavan on Monday used a footy metaphor when he told a Brisbane radio station on Monday Turnbull's leadership was not in doubt.

"Closeness breeds unity... when you're only one point down, you all start working together," he said.

More On This Topic