- Julia Banks has received support from Alex Turnbull, son of former PM Malcolm
- Plans to oust federal health minister Greg Hunt from his Victoria-based seat
- Former PM’s son put her in touch with individual who provided funds for website
- He has previously stated he’d support independents in key government seats
A defected Liberal MP who’s running as an independent against one of her former party colleagues at next month’s federal election has admitted she’s received assistance from an unlikely source.
Former Liberal Julia Banks confessed she’s had phone contact with Alex Turnbull, the son of former prime minister Malcolm, as she plans to oust Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt from his Victoria-based seat.
Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex has confirmed he is involved in Liberal defector Julia Banks’ campaign to oust Health Minister Greg Hunt from his Melbourne seat, as furious Liberals declared the independent MP had “betrayed us all”.
The extraordinary revelation comes just months after Alex publicly supported high profile independent Dr Kerryn Phelps in her successful quest to win his father’s seat in a by-election in the Sydney eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth.
Former Liberal MP Julia Banks (pictured) is running as an independent in the seat of former party colleague, health minister Greg Hunt
‘Incredible result and proud of the people of Wentworth. A hearty congratulations to Dr Kerryn Phelps who fought a great campaign. A great day for Australian democracy,’ he tweeted at the time.
Ms Banks admitted on Friday Alex Turnbull had put her in touch with an individual who provided $8000 towards setting up her candidate website.
‘Alex helped me with the set up of my campaign, the website and set up but this is a grassroots campaign,’ Ms Banks told Nine News.
‘You have to set up a structure to get all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed.’
Ms Banks resigned from the Liberal Party in disgust last August following the leadership spill that saw Mr Turnbull replaced as Prime Minister by Scott Morrison.
She described the ousting as the ‘last straw’ and cited a ‘cultural and gender bias, bullying and intimidation’ of women in politics.
Ms Banks later had a change of heart and announced she would run as an independent in the Mornington Peninsula seat of Flinders, held by Mr Hunt for the last 18 years.
Alex Turnbull (pictured), the son of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously vowed to donate his own money and help raise funds for the right candidates in key seats
Mr Turnbull’s son revealed five months ago he would support ‘reasonable’ independents to run against a number of senior federal MPs at the 2019 election.
The Singapore-based fund manager said he would donate his own money and help raise funds for the right candidates in key government seats, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and energy minister Angus Taylor.
‘If [the hurdle] is a money thing, you would be surprised at how much could be raised,’ he told Guardian Australia last November.
‘The issue is, if you are going to win, you need someone with local credibility, who is practical and reasonable. Their only real barriers are cash and organisational support. Cash often solves organisational issues.’
Julia Banks quit federal politics when she left the Liberal party but had a change of heart
He continues to publicly support Dr Phelps in her election campaign against Liberal opponent David Sharma by regularly retweeting her Twitter posts.
The most recent retweet was on Friday night.
Former Winter Olympic medallist Zali Steggall is running as an independent in Mr Abbott’s seat on Warringah on Sydney’s northern beaches, which he’s held since 1994.
Meanwhile, the Australian Electoral Commission has been called to investigate the financial vehicles of four independent election candidates, fearing they may ‘circumvent’ donation laws.
‘The fact that a number of independent campaigns use the same infrastructure shouldn’t be that shocking. Many of us use Microsoft, Google or other services because they work and are reliable and competent,’ Alex Turnbull tweeted late Friday night.
Alex Turnbull is publicly supportive of Dr Kerryn Phelps (pictured), the independent MP in his dad’s former seat of Wentworth
So you have an Ex Prime Minister’s son supporting independent candidates to oust the current government is an ongoing act of revenge.