Malcolm Turnbull set to stand down, Scott Morrison to face Peter Dutton - reports

  • Updated
  • 23/08/2018

Australia's Liberal Party is in chaos and disarray as the fight continues for the position of prime minister.

The House of Representatives has been adjourned until September 10 while the ruling party deals with its ongoing crisis.

Multiple Liberal MPs say they no longer believe Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is capable of leading, and have resigned.

Speaking alone at a media conference on Thursday, Mr Turnbull says he will call a party room meeting when he sees a petition calling for it with a majority of the party's signatures on it - attacking the "internal insurgency" against him.

"The party room, of course, met on Tuesday and confirmed my leadership by a majority," he said.

"So we need to see that there is a majority of members and they need to put their names to it too. These are momentous times and it's important that people are accountable for what they're doing.

"Assuming I get that letter - which I read in the press is already in place, but perhaps maybe it isn't, we'll see - but as soon as I get that, my intention is to hold a party meeting at midday tomorrow."

If the party room meeting manages to get called, Mr Turnbull says he will invite a spill motion to be moved. If he loses the leadership, he suggested he will leave parliament.

"If the motion is carried, I will treat that as a vote of no confidence and I will not stand as a candidate in the ballot," he told media.

"I made it very clear that I believe former prime ministers are best out of the parliament."

Mr Turnbull also said he wants the Liberal Party to see the solicitor-general's legal advice on Peter Dutton's eligibility for parliament beforehand.

"This issue of eligibility is critically important," he told media.

"You can imagine the consequences of having a Prime Minister whose actions and decisions are questionable because of the issue of eligibility."

Mr Turnbull has been undermined by the multiple Liberal Party MPs who say they no longer believe Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is capable of leading, and have resigned.

"It has become clear that he's lost the support of the Liberal Party room," tweeted MP Michael Keenan.

"In the best interests of all Australians, it's important that the leadership is now resolved."

Many other MPs have now abandoned Mr Turnbull, including Health Minister Greg Hunt, Law Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor and Alan Tudge, the Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister.