Australia foreign minister Bishop to run for PM


"This is the ultimate admission of surrender, of a bankrupt government, of a failed government".

The prime minister has lost 13 ministers, including loyalist Mathias Cormann, after they told him the numbers had moved behind Mr Dutton.

"And that it was in the best interests of the Liberal Party to help manage an orderly transition to a new leader".

Three contenders are battling to replace Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the crisis over the Liberal Party leadership.

Turnbull said that what was happening was "a very deliberate effort to pull the Liberal party further to the right".

Turnbull confirmed that a meeting will be held at midday on Friday, providing he receives that petition, where he will move a spill motion.

Dutton was ultimately unsuccessful in the first instance, but the fact he only lost by a small margin 48-35 was considered by many as a fatal wound for Turnbull.

Cormann, in particular, is seen as the leading Senate conservative so his backflip of support for the PM has likely seen several other MPs withdraw their support for Turnbull already.

Dutton and senior ministers on Thursday called for a second leadership contest.

Mr Turnbull only barely blocked challenger Peter Dutton.

Bishop said the resignations of Dutton and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the former minister for worldwide development and the Pacific, were accepted.

"I know I represent and speak for the vast majority in the community who view the Labor and Liberals' treatment of the office of the Prime Minister as a revolving door and this has to stop, because it is overshadowing the work of running the country".

Mr Hogan, from northern NSW, says his community is fed up with the constant leadership changes over the past 10 years.

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"Apart from the basic supply and no confidence motions, other than that it will be on a case-by-case basis".

"I mean, politics is a tough business", he said.

Malcolm Turnbull has been told he no longer has majority support in the Liberal party room, with Peter Dutton expected to win a ballot once a meeting can be convened.

For Mr Dutton, a married father who works as a popcorn company sales manager, the added attention was something he was "not prepared at all for".

The delay and the early provision of the Solicitor-General's advice give Treasurer Scott Morrison extra opportunity to build support for his own bid for the leadership as an alternative to Dutton.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a letter on Wednesday night calling for the party room to meet.

He resigned his cabinet position as a result.

Mr Turnbull's decision to dump his unpopular plan to cut corporate tax rates to 25 per cent from 30 per cent was seen as an attempt to curry favour with colleagues.

That would open the door for Mr Dutton, Mr Morrison and now Ms Bishop to battle it out.

"The constitution is clear: you can't be taking cash for your business from the government and at the same time be a member of parliament", senior opposition MP Tony Burke told Sky News.

In that circumstance, Mr Shorten could become prime minister of a minority government, with the support of crossbench MPs Adam Bandt, Rebekha Sharkie and Cathy McGowan, and disgruntled Nationals, including Kevin Hogan and Darren Chester, who have threatened to leave the government.

The inquiry will look into allegations concerning the inappropriate exercise of ministerial powers and report by September 11.