Malcolm Turnbull: Who is the man who ousted Tony Abbott to become Australian PM?

Mr Turnbull won a secret party vote by 54 to 44

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The Independent Online

The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been unseated by cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull - the man he ousted as leader of the Liberal Party in 2009.

Mr Turnbull, a multi-millionaire, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, meaning Australia will have a new prime minister. The 60-year-old resigned as the Communications Minister ahead of the ballot.

Mr Turnbull was brought up by his father, who was a single parent, and attended a state school before winning a scholarship to continue his education at a private secondary school. He studied law at the University of Sydney and later attended the Brasenose College in Oxford, where he worked for The Sunday Times and contributed to newspapers in Australia.

He rose to prominence as a barrister in the 1980s and became internationally recognised for successfully challenging the British Government for the right to publish retired MI5 spy Peter Wright’s book, Spycatcher.



Mr Turnbull became the MP for Wentworth in 2004 after sitting as an independent candidate and was later promoted to the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in 2007. He lives with his wife Lucy Hughes, the first female Lord Mayor of Sydney, in Wentworth.

Mr Turnbull supports a carbon trading scheme, same-sex marriage and an Australian republic, according to Reuters, making him an unpopular choice with those more aligned to the right of the conservative Party.

He has criticised Mr Abbott for being incapable of “providing the economic leadership” Australia needs and promised to execute a “different style" of governance when he officially takes power.

“The only way, the only way, we can ensure that we remain a high wage, generous social welfare net, first-world society is if we have outstanding economic leadership, if we have strong business confidence,” said Mr Turnbull in a speech ahead of the vote.

“That is what we, in the Liberal Party, are bound to deliver and it is what I am committed to deliver if the Party Room gives me their support as leader of the Party.”