These are momentous times and its important that people are accountable for what theyre doing, he told reporters.
Turnbull had defeated Dutton 48-35 in a surprise vote on Tuesday. Turnbull initiated the ballot in the hope of ending speculation that his government had lost faith in him in the face of poor opinion polling. Several ministers have since resigned and told him that most of the government wanted a new leader.
In addition to Dutton, media reports said other lawmakers were considering running for Turnbulls job, including Treasurer Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Opposition lawmakers reacted with outrage when the government shut down Parliament hours early so that Liberal Party lawmakers could focus on their leadership crisis.
Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten told Parliament it was evidence that Australia no longer has a functioning government.
The Liberal Party, whatever it does today and tomorrow, is irreparably split, Shorten sai>His deputy, Tanya Plibersek, told Parliament that whoever emerged as prime minister should immediately call an election — an outcome that some analysts argue is probable. But with the next election due by May, the ruling coalition is far less prepared for an election now than center-left Labor is. The coalition has yet to select many candidates.
The opposition narrowly lost a vote in Parliament that would have sent Dutton to court to determine whether he is eligible to be prime minister. The vote to refer Dutton to the High Court was defeated 69-68 in the House of Representatives before it adjourne>Dutton has released legal advice that his familys ownership of two child-care centers that received federal funding does not breach a constitutional ban on lawmakers having a pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service. Some constitutional lawyers say there are areas of doubt.
Such a pending court case could scare lawmakers away from supporting Dutton in a leadership ballot. Government lawyers are investigating his case to see if there are issues for the High Court to determine.
Turnbull said he wanted the governments legal advice on Duttons eligibility presented to Fridays meeting.