/ 24 February 2021

Craig Kelly and Jobseeker

And look, we’re not suggesting that the federal Liberal MP will soon be out of work – that’s for the fine people of his southern Sydney electorate to decide. Yesterday morning’s Coalition team meeting was focused on approving a (lower than many hoped) increase to the JobSeeker payment rate – until Craig Kelly announced he was quitting the party. He and PM Morrison fell out this month over Kelly’s views on COVID treatments and vaccines. Reports also say misconduct claims against a staff member in Kelly’s office was an issue. But yesterday, Kelly said he didn’t want to be a distraction as he continues to speak out “fearlessly and faithfully”. He’s now an independent MP who says he will vote with the government. It leaves Team Morrison with 75 seats in the 151 seat House of Representatives after they provide the Speaker – one less than is needed for an outright majority. Morrison says he can work with that while Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the PM hadn’t done enough to rein Kelly in.

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