Tony Abbott has sacked Philip Ruddock, father of the house and government whip.
Veteran Liberal MP Philip Ruddock has been sacked as chief government whip in the wake of the failed leadership spill motion, a move one MP likened to the start of “the night of the long knives”.
Mr Ruddock, who is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, will be replaced by Queensland MP Scott Buchholz.
Tasmanian MP Andrew Nikolic, a prominent supporter of the Prime Minister, will also be promoted to a whip position.
Some senior ministers hold Mr Ruddock partly to blame [for the narrow loss of the leadership spill], saying one of his roles should have been to rally support for the leader.
But others believe his job is to act as a sounding board for the backbench and to pass on MPs’ concerns to Mr Abbott.
They say if that had happened, the Prime Minister would have been forewarned disquiet was building in his ranks.
After the spill Mungo MacCallum wrote Call this professional politics? Then give me amateurs. Imagine his column next week!
“It seems that someone has to be blamed for the fact that they can’t count,” one Liberal told Guardian Australia. “This is shabby treatment. What is he supposed to have done wrong?
“And he shows he has the guts to sack Ruddock, but not the guts to sack [the prime minister’s chief of staff, Peta] Credlin.”
After surviving Monday’s spill, Abbott promised there would be no repercussions, saying: “I’m not into retribution. We have been an outstanding team.”
Abbott is as good as his word, and you can see how good that is!
Ruddock was first elected in 1973, that’s 42 years ago.
Elsewhere Adrian Beaumont tells us five polls released in the last week have Labor well in front, and Abbott’s approval rating continues to dive: