Senior Liberal Party MPs and officials are starting to express concern about the anti-China tactics of Defence Minister Peter Dutton which they fear might be starting to backfire and may jeopardise the re-election prospects of the Morrison Government.
“To be frank, we all know that the fear of a potential conflict with China and a ‘khaki election’ would see the Morrison Government re-elected as voters opt for security and stick with the Coalition instead of being tempted by Labor and Anthony Albanese,” a senior Liberal Party source said.
“But we’re now starting to worry that Peter might be overplaying his hand.”
The public expression of concern among senior Liberals was sparked by Mr Dutton’s allegations in Federal Parliament that China was backing the election of a Labor Party government led by Anthony Albanese.
Mr Dutton followed up his claim by calling a news conference at his Canberra office which he has renamed “The Petergon”. (main picture)
At the news conference Mr Dutton told media representatives that he had “undeniable proof” of China’s backing for Labor.
He then distributed a crudely modified picture of China’s supreme leader Xi Jinping. (pictured)
The Defence Minister then called for questions but firmly explained that he would not recognise any reporter unless they stood at attention, saluted him, and sought permission to ask their question which would need to be approved by military censors standing around the room.
Mr Dutton left without a question being asked.