Slipper threatens to quit
PETER Slipper has threatened to quit the LNP if the party's Fisher branch today does not elect the executive he wants.
In a letter to LNP members sent late yesterday, Mr Slipper warned that would not be helpful to the Coalition in a hung parliament.
Mr Slipper is under threat of losing pre-selection for the seat with mounting pressure on the party at both state and federal level for it to distance itself from him because of his extravagant use of his MP expense account.
More than 2700 Sunshine Coast residents have signed a petition calling for a full audit of that account for the past 10 years.
In the letter to members, Mr Slipper said today's annual general meeting to elect the Fisher FDC executive was being run as a defacto pre-selection campaign.
He made it clear that if former Howard minister Mal Brough was elected as chairman over his preferred choice of Dr Greg Robinson he would leave the party.
“If the coup is successful, my position as a parliamentary member of the LNP becomes untenable,'' Mr Slipper wrote.
“This would not be helpful to the Coalition in a hung parliament where every vote counts.''
Mr Slipper nominated Graeme Mickelburg as his preferred vice chairman and James Ashby as secretary.
Mr Brough, who has already indicated he will stand against Mr Slipper for pre-selection and who is a member of the party's fastest growing branch at Kawana, was not returning phone calls yesterday.
There was no response from Mr Slipper last night to questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily about the letter to party members.
However, party sources said they had been shocked by the threat to the party's current strong federal position.
Before the last federal election Sunshine Coast LNP representatives called on the LNP state executive to withdraw support for Mr Slipper.
When that was refused, polling booth captains for the party were successful in having how-to-vote pamphlets scrapped that featured Mr Slipper in favour of ones that made a photo of Tony Abbott the dominant feature.
More recently LNP Nicklin candidate John Connolly has reported that the issue of Mr Slipper's expenditure habits was impacting negatively on his door-knocking ahead of the state election.