Pressure mounts to oust Slipper
MEMBER for Fairfax Alex Somlyay believes angry Coast voters will demand a by-election to oust new parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper from his seat of Fisher.
His comment comes after former treasurer Peter Costello yesterday labelled Mr Slipper "a problem" who "was always a loose cannon".
The fall-out from Mr Slipper's defection continued yesterday, with the Daily inundated with angry letters and political leaders speaking out on his resignation from the LNP and appointment to the speaker's chair by the Labor Government.
Mr Somlyay said he was not surprised at the "absolute outrage" from the community.
"He was elected as a Liberal. They didn't vote for him, they voted for the party," he said.
"They expect their member to be a Liberal member and I wouldn't be surprised if the growing anger results in a petition taken up against Peter Slipper to resign in his electorate and demanding a by-election.
"People have been angry at him for a long time and this is only vindicating what a lot of people have thought of him over all these years."
Mr Somlyay said there was similar outrage within party ranks.
"Nobody likes a rat and he's ratted on the Liberal Party.
"He's given the Labor Party the extra number they needed.
"One bill that has been held up in the House of Representatives is the private health insurance bill.
"Everybody on the Sunshine Coast and Queensland who loses their 30% rebate have no one else to thank but Peter Slipper."
Mr Costello described Mr Slipper's political manoeuvre as "an extremely tawdry deal" when he spoke on Network Ten yesterday.
He said Mr Slipper "was always a loose cannon" and believed the Queensland LNP administration provoked his exit.
"I was in parliament with Peter Slipper and I had to manage him on occasion. He is a problem," he said.
"His expenses are a problem and some of his behaviours are a problem and from now on that is Julia Gillard's problem."
Former prime minister Paul Keating said slotting the former Liberal into the speaker's chair was good for Australia.
"I think this is a bull point for stability and therefore for the nation regardless of who said what to who," he said yesterday.
Mr Keating said if he were in government he would shoot whatever problems Mr Slipper had back to the Liberals who had him in their ranks for years.
"I would take no notice whatsoever of any claims they (the Liberals) have or any shenanigans they may come out with," he said.
"It's just a double standard."