Posted December 15, 2015 01:04:09

Queensland Liberal National MP Ewen Jones hopes Ian Macfarlane can recover from the “brain explosion” that was his program to defect from the Liberal party room to the Nationals.

On Monday, the Queensland LNP State Executive blocked Mr Macfarlane’s bid to switch allegiances to the Nationals, in spite of regional party members in his regional seat of Groom voting 102-34 in favour of the move.

Mr Jones — who sits in the Liberal party space and is one particular of the Turnbull Government’s whips in the Residence of Representatives — has suggested it would be up to the party room as to how the former Abbott government minister would be received when Parliament resumes subsequent February.

“He could walk in there and could be treated as this was a brain explosion, and he can move on and rebuild,” Mr Jones stated.

“Or he could be treated with the identical sort of respect and admiration as [former LNP MP] Peter Slipper.

I could make a decision, but I won’t announce it…it is a decision I want to make in the cool of the evening.

Ian Macfarlane

“I do not know if he’s a turncoat, [but] for me this is a quite poor decision.”

For Mr Macfarlane, the decision is now regardless of whether he will remain in Parliament.

“I booked with my loved ones to have our usual Christmas break down the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Macfarlane told ABC Southern Queensland.

“I’ll get some time to believe about it all and I will come back, gauge how factors are going in Canberra, and certainly the plan at the moment [is] to return to the February sittings and see what occurs from that.

“The globe is a really difficult location.

“I could make a selection, but I won’t announce it.

“It really is a selection I want to make in the cool of the evening.”

‘I wasn’t going to walk away with no trying’

Mr Macfarlane has offered his strongest indication but that this incident could spell the finish of his political career.

“I can not sit with the Nationals, but I guess if the Liberals make me really feel unwelcome, nicely that might accelerate the selection,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Politics is a rough and challenging game and I would be the last a single to bemoan that.

“You’ve got to give it every little thing you have got and you have got to give it a red hot go.

“I wasn’t going to stroll away without having attempting and I do not ever want to die wondering.”

His colleague, Ewen Jones stated Mr Macfarlane only had the urge to join the Nationals when he lost his Cabinet position following Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister.

He argued the complete saga had been a distraction for the LNP, due to the fact all the party had been talking about was “some bloke’s disappointing profession move in Toowoomba”.

“Place two and two collectively, and this is a lot more about his career than about the state of the Government, much more about his career than about the state of the celebration in Queensland, far more about his career than about the parliamentary Liberal Party or National Party,” Mr Jones stated.

“I think he has had a great parliamentary career since 1998, on the frontbench because 2001.

“To have his profession defined by this moment is a sad time for just about absolutely everyone involved.”

Macfarlane celebration swap block could influence Cabinet

Yesterday, Deputy Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce expressed his disappointment that the State Executive disregarded the overwhelmingly favourable vote among nearby members in Groom.

Fellow Queensland LNP MP Michelle Landry, who sits in the Nationals celebration space, echoed such comments.

But she did not think the party would face a voter backlash at the subsequent election.

That would be a shame if that did occur, since I do have a lot of respect for Ian…I would hate to see that talent leave

LNP MP Michelle Landry

“In Queensland, it is the Liberal National Celebration, and a lot of individuals actually consider of us as a single team,” Ms Landry said.

“It is a lot more when you get down to Canberra that you sit with the Liberals or the Nationals that it is more of a possibly relevant issue.

“I feel that it is disappointing. We would have loved yet another member, another team member for the Nationals in Canberra, but we nonetheless all are a single group.”

Blocking the defection could also scuttle hopes the Nationals had at securing yet another Cabinet position.

Mr Macfarlane has been mooted for filling a role, and Ms Landry said the possibility of Ian Macfarlane leaving Parliament would be the worst outcome.

“That would be a shame if that did take place, simply because I do have a lot of respect for Ian,” Ms Landry mentioned.

“I would hate to see that talent leave.

“Certainly there is a reason that the executive have made that decision, but I would hate Ian to leave at the next election simply because of the decision.”

Topics: federal-government, nationals, liberals, australia

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