By Philippe Coquerand
The announcement was released earlier this morning as Mr Bernardi had arranged in private to speak with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. However it was announced at midday that he was stepping down.
Mr Bernardi told MP’s it was a difficult decision to make and swiped several times at the Coalition saying that they are “failing the people of Australia.”
It comes after months of speculation over his future came to a halt yesterday after the Daily Telegraph released a report.
Senator Bernardi will now be joining the crossbench as an independent senator under a banner of a new party the ‘Australian Conservatives.’
The party is yet to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission.
There were mixed emotions coming from senior Liberals labelling Mr Bernardi a ‘betrayal’ and others were just ‘disappointed.’
Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong took direct aim at the Prime Minister saying it was due to a lack of leadership within the party.
“This resignation is a consequence of the failure of leadership by the prime minister.”
Mr Bernardi attributes his leavings to a few incidents that just fired up. He labelled it as a “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The Daily Telegraph released a report saying that ‘Bernardi to defect from Liberal Party,’ placing pressure on himself to come out with the facts.
When asked about the incident he laughed it off and said, “there’s no blood left to draw, it’s all scar tissue now.”
Earlier this morning twitter users were surprised to see Clive Palmer tweeting comments after comments aimed at Bernardi and the Prime Minister, taking swipe at the lack of leadership shown in the party.
In the 10-second clip shared almost a hundred times, he says “Goodbye Cory, Goodbye, Goodbye, Bye, Bye, Goodbye Cory.”
Despite the announcement coming today, Bernardi reassured all other senators and MP’s that the decision was not out to hurt the Coalition.
Senator Bernardi said minor parties had been allowed to rise unchecked whilst the Liberal leadership continues to not account for its base.
“No one has been held to account for the last election result,” he said.
He said that he admires with utmost respect One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
Senator Bernardi has said numerous times that today’s calling was not out to harm the Liberal party but to enhance it.
“What I seek to do over the long term is actually strengthen the Coalition Government.”
Senator Bernardi has confirmed that he has not asked any other members of the Coalition to join him.
RUNNING NEXT ELECTION:
Bernardi is aiming to run candidates for next election.
“My intention is to build a conservative movement and to strengthen it,” he said.
He said he would love to run a few candidates for the next election, which he hoped to fund by growing his support now.
He said the South Australian people knew what they would be getting when they voted for him.
“I have been consistent for the past 10 years.”
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