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Liberal MP regrets backing Bishop in leadership spill


One of the 11 Liberal MPs who voted for Julie Bishop in last year’s leadership spill regrets casting his first vote for the former party deputy, saying Scott Morrison should have been his number one pick.

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Queensland MP Warren Enstch said while Bishop excelled in foreign policy she “wasn’t quite so strong” on domestic issues.

“What we need in this country is not an outstanding foreign affairs minister,” he told The Australian today.

“I voted with my heart and not with my head.

“My second vote went to ScoMo and, in hindsight, I thought I should have voted first for him.”

Bishop believed she had the support of at least 28 colleagues, more than now-prime minister Morrison, before going into the Liberal party room for the vote last August.

She was knocked out in the first round of voting with just 11 votes.

Morrison went on to defeat Peter Dutton 45 votes to 40.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Bishop said if she had been elected leader she would have beaten Labor leader Bill Shorten at the upcoming federal election.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said “anybody” could beat Shorten.

“I’m sure Julie could have beaten Bill Shorten, but I’m also confident that Scott Morrison will beat Bill Shorten,” the minister told Nine Network.

“When it comes to the crunch, almost anybody could have beaten Bill Shorten.”

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