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Conservative MPs call on Peter Dutton to seize power from Malcolm Turnbull and take over as prime minister in dramatic leadership coup

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 16/08/2018 Kylie Stevens

Video provided by Nine News

Peter Dutton could oust Malcolm Turnbull as Australia's prime minister within weeks, if fellow conservative MPs have their way.

The Home Affairs minister is reportedly being urged to challenge Mr Turnbull's leadership as an internal campaign against the prime minister's National Energy Guarantee policy gains momentum.

Up to 10 MPs are threatening to cross the floor and several frontbenchers are considering resigning after Mr Turnbull got his signature energy plan through the Coalition party room on Tuesday.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton (pictured) is being urged to challenge Malcolm Turnbull's leadership © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton (pictured) is being urged to challenge Malcolm Turnbull's leadership

Conservative MPs have told The Daily Telegraph that a 'torn' Mr Dutton was weighing up his options to challenge the leadership on a policy platform of lower immigration and cheaper energy bills.

'There are only two good outcomes here — either the energy policy is dead and we can go to the election fighting Labor on it, or Malcolm goes,' one told the publication.

Mr Dutton gave a lukewarm assessment of the government's National Energy Guarantee policy when he was interviewed on Sydney radio station 2GB by talkback host Ray Hadley on Thursday. 

a man wearing a suit and tie: Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) is under increasing pressure from within own party over his National Energy Guarantee policy © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) is under increasing pressure from within own party over his National Energy Guarantee policy

But he refused persistent invitations to publicly criticise the prime minister. 

'I'm not going to be part of the cabinet and then bag the Prime Minister out,' Mr Dutton said.

'I have the utmost respect for my colleagues and if I have something to say, I will say something in private and that is my responsibility as a cabinet minister. If my position changes — that is, it gets to a point where I can't accept what the government is proposing, or I don't agree — then the Westminster system is very clear: you resign your commission, you don't serve in that cabinet and you make that very clear in a respectful way.'

a man in a suit and tie: Peter Dutton (right) offered a lukewarm assessment of Malcolm Turnbull's (left) energy policy during a radio interview on Thursday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Peter Dutton (right) offered a lukewarm assessment of Malcolm Turnbull's (left) energy policy during a radio interview on Thursday

Queensland LNP MP George Christensen and West Australian MP Andrew Hastie have confirmed they will cross the floor if the 26 per cent Paris emissions reduction target is not dumped from the National Energy Guarantee policy.

'If I am being asked to vote for an emissions reduction target based on the Paris agreement, I would have to vote against it,' Mr Christensen told The Australian.

'I will be voting against it.'

Pictures: Photos from Malcolm Turnbull's career

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