Kevin Andrews is prepared to challenge Malcolm Turnbull

Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

Former defence minister Kevin Andrews says he is prepared to challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the prime ministership, should the circumstances arise.

The conservative MP and Tony Abbott loyalist, who lost the defence portfolio after less than 12 months in the job after Turnbull became Liberal leader, told his local paper, The Manningham Leader, that he would challenge the prime minister if he thought it would better the party.

Andrews previously challenged both deputy leader Julie Bishop, and Turnbull, for their positions, both times unsuccessfully.

He said those defeats would not stop him from doing it again.

“It has never been my burning ambition to be the leader of the party, but if circumstances arose, which they did in both of those instances where I thought there should be a change or a contest, I am prepared to do it,” he said.

This discontent within the Liberal party could cause a headache for Turnbull in the lead up to a possible July 2 election, which the PM has threatened if legislation to create the building industry watchdog, the Australia Building and Construction Commission, isn’t passed by the Senate later this month.

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