Liberal Party members have moved to expel Malcolm Turnbull for following an Instagram account

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time at Parliament House on May 10, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will have a motion to have him expelled from the Liberal Party debated at the next federal electorate conference of the party.

The Australian reports a meeting last night of party members in Roseville on Sydney’s leafy north shore passed a motion saying he should be kicked out of the party on the day it emerged he was following an Instagram account connected to a grassroots campaign to out Tony Abbott, Turnbull’s bitter political rival, from his seat of Warringah.

The Roseville members were angered by Turnbull’s failure to support the Liberal candidate in the by-election for the seat of Wentworth, triggered by Turnbull’s decision to quit politics after being ousted as leader. Wentworth, which has been held by the Liberals for decades, fell to independent candidate Kerryn Phelps and Turnbull’s failure to support the party candidate actively was seen as a decisive factor in the result.

According to The Australian’s report, it appears the reports that Turnbull was following the Vote Tony Out Instagram account aggravated matters. The account has only posted five updates but it has amassed over 10,000 followers. It is connected to a grassroots movement that is seeking a high-profile candidate to try and “do a Wentworth” on Abbott in Warringah, which he has held since 1994.

InstagramA screengrab of the Vote Tony Out Instagram account.

Turnbull is still a follower of the account as of today.

The Roseville motion was passed 16-2 in the branch meeting and will now go to the federal conference.

There’s more at The Australian >>

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