NSW Liberal preselection deadlock: Condamine branch president Walter Villatora email warns of ‘civil war’

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A leaked email has warned a “civil war” could be triggered in the Liberal Party ahead of the federal election if Scott Morrison proceeds with one thing.

A furious email has warned of a potential “civil war” inside the Liberal Party a day before Scott Morrison may intervene and endorse candidates in several NSW seats.

A federal executive meeting will take place on Friday morning to discuss the impasse within the NSW Liberal Party’s state executive.

A piercing political headache has developed with nine lower house candidates not yet being preselected – including three sitting MPs – just two months out from the election.

A motion was put forward by NSW Liberal president Philip Ruddock this week to endorse incumbents Alex Hawke, Sussan Ley and Trent Zimmerman and also parachute candidates into the remaining seats.

That included Alex Dore in the seat of Hughes, currently held by Liberal turncoat Craig Kelly, and disability campaigner David Brady in Tony Abbott’s former seat of Warringah.

A majority in the state executive voted in favour of it but it did not meet the required 90 per cent threshold.

A source said they believed this could be used as a “trigger” for the federal executive to use its powers to intervene and break the deadlock when they meet on Friday.

But a leaked email from Condamine branch president Walter Villatora has voiced fury about the candidate for Warringah.

The email says although Mr Brady was “a nice person by all accounts” he was “unknown” in the area.

“If this happens, the Warringah Liberal members will revolt and simply walk away,” the email says.

“There will be no grassroots or donor support for an illegitimately appointed, unknown outsider.

“To beat the incumbent independent the party needs all the resources and support it can get.”

The seat is held by high-profile independent Zali Steggall.

The email says that Lincoln Parker, a member of the Liberal Party’s Manly branch, should be the candidate.

“To ignore a quality local candidate who has adhered to the party’s constitution, and is in fact, the only candidate who met the nomination deadline and passed the nomination review committee process … will trigger a civil war in the party that will go far beyond Warringah and could potentially derail the Morrison Government’s already fragile electoral prospects,” the email says.

The email then points to the situation where Warren Mundine was picked to run in the south coast seat of Gilmore despite not being from the area.

“Einstein’s definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions and expect a different outcome – did we not learn anything from the Gilmore debacle?” the email says.

The email, obtained by NCA NewsWire, was sent to the state president, state executive, the federal president and a secretary within the office of the Prime Minister.

State executive member Sally Betts on Friday put forward a motion setting out a timetable for all the outstanding seats to have preselections in-person or online via zoom before the end of March.

One source said that they believed that this motion, which hasn’t been tabled, was the best way forward.

Mr Brady has been contacted for comment.

Originally published as Furious leaked email warns ScoMo ‘imposed’ candidate could trigger ‘civil war’

Read related topics:Scott Morrison

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