Liberal MPs are pressing Malcolm Turnbull to strip Christopher Pyne of his position as Leader of the House.
Senior Liberals have told 7.30 the Cabinet minister’s comments to fellow Liberal moderates on the sidelines of the Liberal Party Federal Council have triggered enormous anger across the party.
The view of one minister is that Mr Pyne’s comments could be the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” when it comes to his position in the House of Representatives.
In secretly recorded comments that were leaked to conservative columnist Andrew Bolt, Mr Pyne boasted of the ascendancy of the moderate faction in the Liberal Party and suggested a move to legalise same-sex marriage might be hastened.
“Friends, we are in the winner’s circle but we have to deliver a couple of things and one of those we’ve got to deliver before too long is marriage equality in this country,” he was recorded telling about 200 Liberals gathered in Sydney’s Cherry Bar.
“We’re going to get it. I think it might even be sooner than everyone thinks. And your friends in Canberra are working on that outcome.”