Christensen 'wimped out' of quit threat
DAWSON MP George Christensen is under fire after outing himself as the MP who said he would leave the Coalition if Malcolm Turnbull remained Prime Minister.
Coalition MPs are said to be furious with Mr Christensen for urging Sky News commentators Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin to spread the word of an "unnamed MP" about to quit the Coalition.
Mr Bolt said Mr Christensen had wimped it and he could no longer trust the Nationals MP.
"He authorised me and Peta to spread the word, without using his name, hoping to create maximum pressure on Turnbull," Mr Bolt wrote on his blog.
"Twice more he urged me on, even after lying to Samantha Maiden of Sky News, telling her he was not the MP I'd referred to.
Mr Christensen told Bolt he planned to quit the party this week if Mr Turnbull was still Prime Minister, and news of the "unnamed MP" caused significant political damage for the government over the past two weeks.
One Coalition MP told the Courier-Mail no one would have ever taken the threat seriously if they knew it was Mr Christensen from the start, as they would have dismissed it as "George being George".
Mr Christensen did not return calls, but in a statement said he had changed his mind and decided not to quit because of the Turnbull Government's establishment of a royal commission into the banks.
"I have also had a series of discussions today and over the past few days with local mayors and community leaders, local LNP members as well as party elders and my Nationals colleagues," Mr Christensen said.
"The consensus is that the Nationals need to be a stronger force within the government for both conservative values and country Australia and that people like me need to remain in the Nationals and government to ensure that happens."