Fresh details have emerged about the “nasty” standover tactics employed by some of the Liberal “insurgents” as they tried to build support for Peter Dutton during last month’s failed leadership coup.
- Supporters of Mr Dutton entered fellow Liberal Party members’ offices and refused to leave until they signed spill petition
- Some Liberal Party members were forced to show their secret ballots to prove which way they had voted
- Six of Mr Dutton’s key backers have denied involvement in any alleged bullying
Sources have told the ABC that during the “horrible, bruising week”, Mr Dutton’s backers would enter colleagues’ offices uninvited, and sometimes first thing in the morning, and refuse to leave unless they signed the petition to bring on a spill.
One MP said it was only after a “terse exchange” that their colleague agreed to leave.
But that pressure continued on the floor of Parliament where Mr Dutton’s supporters would target MPs during divisions and try and force them to add their name to the petition.
The then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had just raised the stakes in the leadership crisis by demanding to see a petition with 43 names on it — a majority of the partyroom — before he would pull the trigger on a spill.
The ABC understands Liberals were also told their preselection would be at risk unless they backed Mr Dutton’s challenge and, on the day of the spill, were pressured to show their — supposedly — secret ballot paper to another MP to prove which way they had voted.