Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Liberal Member for Bowman Andrew Laming. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Damning end for Queensland MP

MALCOLM Turnbull faces another damaging pre-selection challenge against one of his Queensland MPs after Andrew Laming was dramatically abandoned by his most senior branch members.

In a scathing missive emailed to branch members and obtained by The Courier-Mail, Mr Laming's Federal Divisional Council executive lambasted him as an electoral liability and backed his preselection rival Paul Branagan.

"Andrew has always been something of a maverick MP and while we have done everything possible to support him over many, many years, we feel that his behaviour has now reached a level that will be harmful at the upcoming election," read the email, signed by the FDC chair Shaun Edwards, Treasurer Paul Field and secretary Suzie Foster.

The senior party members said Mr Laming's "belligerent Facebook arguments with local voters" and his role as a "larger developer" meant "getting the public to support him at the next election will be a difficult task".

MP Andrew Laming with Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Jono Searle
MP Andrew Laming with Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Jono Searle

The trio claimed there was a mood for change in the seat of Bowman, which Mr Laming holds with 7.1 per cent margin.

It comes a month after assistant minister Jane Prentice was rolled as the LNP's candidate in Ryan by Brisbane City councillor Julian Simmonds.

In the email, before tomorrow's local branch AGM, the trio accuse Mr Laming of not paying membership fees for two years.

But LNP President Gary Spence said Mr Laming had "always paid his membership fees" and the email may breach LNP rules and would be investigated by the party.

The pre-selection is likely to be held by the end of July, meaning the tussle may overlap by-elections set for July 28.

The comment about Mr Laming becoming a "developer" appears to refer to his plans to subdivide his family's 2ha block in Thornlands. The MP defended the development on Facebook, saying he planted more trees on the site.

Last night, he emailed branch members asking them to "ignore" the missive.



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