News – AU – Controversial backbencher Craig Kelly is leaving the Liberal Party to join Crossbench

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Member of the Bundestag Craig Kelly has announced his resignation and stated that he can only speak “openly and fearlessly” from the Crossbench

Controversial backbencher Craig Kelly has left the Liberal Party to join Crossbench as an independent

Mr Kelly, the Hughes member, told the coalition chamber on Tuesday morning that he would resign but would continue to support the government on issues of supply and confidence

Due to his departure, the government has a narrow majority in the House of Representatives with only 76 out of 151 seats

In his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Kelly admitted that some of his “recent behaviors” had “made it difficult” for the government

“However, I have always responded to my consciousness and belief – not to political expediency,” he said

Mr Kelly has recently come under fire for sharing misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, increasing pressure on the government to condemn his views

He has repeatedly used his official social media pages to promote unproven treatments for the virus, including the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine

“My only goal was to save lives and to make sure that my constituents and all Australians were not denied access to medical treatment if their doctors believed these treatments could save their lives,” the letter continued / p>

He said he made the decision to leave the party with a “heavy heart” but it was a necessary step so that he could speak “openly and fearlessly”

“To appreciate the commitment to Hughes’ electorate who elected me under the Liberal banner, I will of course support the government on supply and confidence issues, and seek to vote in a manner that works with all official guidelines is that the coalition took part in the 2019 election, “he said

Mr. Morrison confirmed Mr. Kelly’s resignation in a media conference following the session in the party room where he was first made aware of the resignation and stated that the government would continue to function effectively

He was referring to a discussion with Mr Kelly weeks ago in which he set “some very clear standards” for his use of social media

“He made some commitments that I expected to be met. He no longer felt he could meet those commitments, but I can tell you my standards are not changing,” he told reporters / p>

“Following his own statement, he said that his actions were slowing the government down and he believed the best way for him to be to get out of the party room”

Mr Kelly, one of Parliament’s most prolific social media users, was recently banned from posting on its official Facebook for at least seven days for violating the social media giant’s misinformation policy

Facebook has also deleted a number of previous posts by Mr Kelly from its page, including one referring to the results of an unaudited study that found that forcing the user to wear face masks was ” Child abuse “is comparable

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Australian Liberal Party, Craig Kelly, Scott Morrison

News – AU – Controversial backbencher Craig Kelly is leaving the Liberal Party to join Crossbench
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Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/controversial-backbencher-craig-kelly-resigns-from-liberal-party-to-join-crossbench