After 20 years in parliament and several attempts to claim leadership, Peter Dutton has become the new Liberal leader following the electoral defeat of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Dutton was considered the next leader after the other most likely challenger, former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, lost his seat on election night in a “teal bath” of independents who claimed inner-city Liberal seats.
Despite there being no real competition for leadership from the Liberal side of the Liberal Party, Mr Dutton faces the challenge of convincing some within his party that he is the right person to lead him as the Coalition continues to form its opposition. takes the first step.
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The 51-year-old Queensland MP entered parliament in 2001 after working as a police officer for a decade and working in his father’s construction business.
Mr Dutton left the police force soon after he was injured in a car accident while chasing an escaped prisoner.
In his first speech, Mr Dutton touched on a range of issues that would point in the direction of his political career in the years to come, sometimes on an “over-tolerant society”, on unacceptable crime rates “of hindering older Australians”. causes themselves to be “in their own homes”, and at the risk of a “raging minority and the politically correct” for democracy.
And foreshadowing the changes he would eventually make himself as a minister, Mr Dutton warned that modern crime and terrorism demanded the strengthening of national security laws and the rebalancing of the right to privacy with security.
Mr Dutton has been a lightning rod for progressive anger since he first entered parliament because of his staunchly conservative views.
His sometimes blunt manner of speaking has rattled their leaders more than once, and in 2015 a joke about “lack of water” was caught over an open microphone. [the] “Doors of Pacific Island Nations” is still used by Labor to accuse the Coalition of damaging relations in the region.
Mr Dutton was also the only opposition frontbencher in 2008 to boycott then-prime minister Kevin Rudd’s pardon for stolen generations, a decision he now regrets, and he personally “encouraged more people to do”. Did not vote for same-sex marriage. 2017 postal vote.
But aide Simon Birmingham, now the most senior liberal figure within the Liberal Party, has said Mr Dutton’s character is different from what is sometimes assumed.
,I have worked closely with Peter for many years and while we do not always agree, I suspect it will be a surprise to many that we have agreed more times than people expected,” Mr Birmingham said. Said on Sunday.
“Peter’s public perception is not always an accurate reflection of Peter’s true stance.”
In the previous government, he helped secure the “Ocus” agreement, the most significant development in Australia’s national security since the post-World War II treaties with the United States and New Zealand.
He also oversaw the Australian withdrawal from Afghanistan and was the most prominent critic of the Morrison government’s Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party as it has become more aggressive in the region.
Dutton’s Curved Way to the Top
The new Liberal leader was previously a minister under John Howard, serving as Minister for Workforce Participation, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister of Revenue.
He entered cabinet under Tony Abbott as sports and health minister, introduced then-controversial reforms to Medicare to establish co-pays for GP visits, as well as a $20 billion fund for medical research. installed.
But it was his appointment to the Ministry of Immigration and later to the specially created super portfolio, Minister of Home Affairs, that the now-leader first became a serious contender for the top post.
During that time, Mr Dutton was responsible, in his words, “stopping boats, getting every child out of detention, closing the Manus Regional Processing Center and overseeing the special intake of 12,000 refugees from the Syria and Iraq conflicts”.
Mr Dutton was repeatedly touted as an alternative leader during Malcolm Turnbull’s presidency, and after months of instability in 2018, Mr Dutton attempted to snatch leadership from Mr Turnbull to become prime minister.
That attempt failed, as Mr Morrison managed to pass through to claim the leadership.
Dutton says he ‘won’t change’ but wants to show a different side of himself
Now, as Mr Dutton claims the title, he has taken over a Liberal party that is exiting government for the first time in nearly a decade.
In his first press conference as leader, Mr Dutton said he would work with the new Labor government where it would have good policy.
“We will support good policy, we will oppose bad Labor policy,” he said.
“I want to assure you this, we have heard loud and clear from the Australian public.”
The new leader also said that he was “not going to change”, but wanted people to see the “whole person” he was.
“I was eventually able to cancel the visas of more than 6,000 criminals who committed sex crimes against women and children, committed murder, serious criminal acts, and deported them from our country.
“It’s so hard to smile when you’re making this announcement.
“Hopefully, you can tell a different story that I’m not as bad as ABC can sometimes report.”
His deputy, newly appointed Susan Ley, is separate from the party’s liberal or conservative wings.
Party members felt strongly that it needed a woman as deputy leader after being punished in elections for women’s perceived ignorance and the security and equality issues that dominated Mr Morrison’s tenure in government.
Speaking after being appointed deputy, Ms Lay said the Liberal Party had “listened to” women in the election.
“We’re listening. We’re talking. And we’re determined to get your trust and your trust back,” Ms. Le said.
The Liberal Party, often described as a “broad church” of progressive and conservative political thought, is smarter than a result that has decimated its liberal ranks and virtually shut it out of the country’s urban centers.
Mr Dutton’s first challenge will be to unite the injured liberal side of the party with a conservative leaning that is pushing the Liberal Party to move further and reclaim its base.
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