An ex-Queensland MP says senior ministerial colleagues expressed a desire to throw something at the TV when he came on and criticised new donation laws.
A former Queensland government MP says “very senior” ministers wanted to hurl something at the TV when he gave interviews criticising new laws on political donations.
Chris Davis quit parliament on Friday, saying he could not support the Newman government’s decision to dramatically increase the amount of money individuals can donate, in secret, to political parties.
The former member for Stafford says “very senior colleagues” told him they wanted to throw something at the TV when he criticised the government’s contentious electoral reforms.
“When one has tried to debate these sensibly … that to me is pretty intolerant,” Dr Davis told Fairfax Radio on Monday.
“When you’ve got to play the person, you’ve really lost the debate and … I couldn’t work within that sort of culture.”
The former geriatric medicine doctor said Premier Campbell Newman was fostering a culture of intolerance within the Liberal National Party.
“It’s a broad culture and in my experience of leadership roles, it starts at the top,” he told the ABC.
“And so I assume if we’re going to have a change, it would have to start in the top leadership group. I think self-evidently with the leader.”
But the LNP’s Rob Cavallucci said MPs had every opportunity to raise issues of concern with the premier.
“Primarily there is the party room, where everyone can have free and open debate. We have enormously robust debate within the context of the party room,” the Brisbane Central MP told the ABC.
“Any of us can call the premier at any time of the day or night, and he’ll always be happy to receive the call, as will other ministers.”
Dr Davis has ruled out running as an independent, and said he had received offers from other political parties including the Greens.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said he never made any comments about wanting to throw something at the TV when Dr Davis was on air.
Although Mr Bleijie said it was unfortunate Dr Davis chose to air his concerns publicly.
“There are numerous avenues for MPs to have their say or raise concerns about policies including party room, backbench committees or simply contacting the relevant minister,” he told AAP.
“Unfortunately, Chris never came to me with any of his concerns.”
But deputy premier Jeff Seeney hasn’t denied Dr Davis’ allegation.
When asked whether he said he wanted to throw something at the TV while Dr Davis was giving an interview, Mr Seeney told AAP: “Debate is essential in the parliamentary party room and it is something that is encouraged.”