Malcolm Turnbull has been stopped mid speech by mocking laughter and audible groaning. During his address to the New South Wales Liberal Party state conference, the Prime Minister tried to claim, with a perfectly straight face, that the Liberal party is not afflicted by factions, nor does it decide things in “back room deals.”
With the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had been rolled in what might well have been described as a back room deal, looking on (stony faced), the current Prime Minister was three times stopped mid speech by laughter of an uncomfortable kind.
Malcolm Turnbull seemed surprised by the reception, but carried on in as jovial a manner as he could. Most commentators pointed to the manner in which the mocking and groans revealed the wound of the former Prime Minister’s removal was still an open one, especially in his home state. It might also be useful for Malcolm Turnbull to be reminded that the Liberal Party membership, like those people known as “voters”, are not synonymous with the audience of the ABC.