Australian PM survives leadership challenge
Updated: 2015-02-09 10:11
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd R) walks out of a government party room after a meeting surrounded by supporters in Canberra's Parliament House February 9, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a challenge to his leadership after his ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted down an attempt to unseat him after weeks of infighting.
A secret party room ballot to declare the positions of party leader and deputy leader vacant was voted down 61 votes to 39, chief party whip Philip Ruddock told reporters.
The motion was brought on Friday by Western Australian MP Luke Simpkins after mounting criticism of Abbott's leadership, culminating in his awarding an Australian knighthood to Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip.