Former housing minister Bruce Flegg says LNP knows Campbell Newman won’t win Ashgrove in 2015.
Former Queensland housing minister Bruce Flegg says the LNP has lost confidence in Premier Campbell Newman retaining his seat at the next election.
On Friday the Moggill MP of 10 years faced the party’s powerful state executive committee, which rejected his application to contest preselection for the 2015 poll.
Dr Flegg said his ousting was part of a succession in the event Mr Newman loses the inner Brisbane seat of Ashgrove.
“I am certain that the LNP do not believe Campbell Newman can win Ashgrove,” he told 7.30 Queensland on Friday night.
“This is about the factional battle for who leads the LNP after Campbell Newman is gone, whether or not that is before or after the election.
“Campbell won’t be happy that I’m doing a public interview but I think the public have a right to know.”
But he doesn’t believe Mr Newman is personally ambitious for the seat of Moggill, saying the first term premier was “very genuine and fair dinkum” about his intentions to stand in Ashgrove.
Dr Flegg said his ousting was part of the succession plan, and blames “faceless people” within the LNP for pushing him.
“There are other forces at play,” he said.
The LNP state executive on Friday issued a brief statement about Dr Flegg’s preselection.
Dr Flegg took to Twitter soon after and accused the party executive of denying the Moggill branch its right to chose its representative.
Meanwhile, embattled former minister Ros Bates (Mudgeeraba) and Redlands MP Peter Dowling, who created international headlines after he was caught plonking his penis in a glass of wine, were allowed to vie for preselection.
“Under the terms of the LNP Constitution, the State Executive is empowered to determine whether or not applications for the party’s endorsement should proceed to preselection,” the LNP statement read.
“The LNP is a democratic party and, unlike the Labor party, these decisions are made by office bearers from all over Queensland who are elected by party members.
“The preselection of LNP candidates is determined by a vote of local party members.”
The party said it would announce endorsed candidates in the three seats, and others, in due course.
Dr Flegg was the housing minister until November 2012, when he was forced to resign after failing to declare all contact he had with his lobbyist son.
He also created a furore after secretly recording his colleagues during a failed attempt to persuade him to retire so Premier Campbell Newman could take his safe conservative seat in Brisbane’s west before the last election.
Speculation is already mounting that Mr Newman will move into Moggill, particularly since his Labor rival in Ashgrove, Kate Jones, announced she would be standing again in 2015.
However, Mr Newman has repeatedly maintained he will stay put.