Julia Banks at Parliament House. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images
Julia Banks at Parliament House. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

MP’s stinging resignation letter

JULIA Banks has delivered a stinging rebuke to the Liberal Party in a resignation letter that has left Scott Morrison's control of parliament at risk.

While Mr Morrison was holding that press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard, Ms Banks dropped her bombshell resignation from the Liberal Party in the House of Representatives.

The federal member for Chisholm will now sit as an independent, meaning the government will need to gain support from the crossbench in order to get any legislation passed.

She will guarantee confidence and supply, so there is no risk of the government falling, but it makes Mr Morrison's job even harder.

It also raises the possibility of Ms Banks recontesting her seat as an independent next year. She had previously indicated she would quit at the election.

Ms Banks announced she would not be contesting the next election after accusing both major political parties of "bullying and intimidation" in the wake of the leadership spill in August.

In a statement Ms Banks said had reflected on the coup, led by members of the "reactionary right wing".

"The coup was aided by many MPs trading their vote for a leadership change in exchange for their individual promotion, preselection endorsements or silence," the letter said.

"Their actions were undeniably for themselves. For their position in the Party. Their power. Their personal ambition. Not for the Australian people who we represent. Not for what people voted for in the 2016 election."

Ms Banks said the level of regard and respect for women in politics across both major parties was years behind the business world.

The move is a big headache for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the Liberal Party already lost a crucial vote when Malcolm Turnbull's former electorate of Wentworth voted to install independent Dr Kerryn Phelps instead of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

The government did have a one-seat majority of 76 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. Dr Phelps' win reduced this to 75 and Ms Banks' move will reduce now bring it down to 74 seats.