News National Malcolm Turnbull makes it official with formal resignation from parliament

Malcolm Turnbull makes it official with formal resignation from parliament

malcolm turnbull
All smiles: Mr Malcolm Turnbull, with granddaughter Alice, after his final media conference. Photo: Getty
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Malcolm Turnbull, so sensationally rolled as prime minister exactly one week ago, has finally ended a long day of waiting and formally submitted his resignation from parliament.

After largely maintaining a public silence since his final speech as prime minister on Friday August 24, he stuck to that low profile right up until the bitter end.

He ended his 14 years by confirming his exit in writing to Speaker Tony Smith, who is now considering possible dates for the Wentworth by-election.

Mr Turnbull did take to Facebook on Wednesday to confirm his intention to resign from parliament.

“Today, I have written to my constituents in Wentworth to thank them and to let them know I will be resigning from parliament later this week,” he said.

“Thank you to the thousands of Australians who have written to me thanking me for my public service and expressing their disgust at the shameful events of last week. I will respond to your messages after Lucy and I have had a break.”

But, as of 4pm on Friday (AEST), there was no formal confirmation from Mr Turnbull or his office that he had resigned. A spokesperson for Mr Turnbull hung up the phone on a journalist from The New Daily who called his office, after telling her there was no official statement prepared.

When we called the office back, another staffer said she was working on a comment and would get back to The New Daily.

He and wife Lucy are reportedly heading to New York, where they have an apartment, on Sunday.

Mr Turnbull was replaced as prime minister by Scott Morrison on August 24, in the culmination of an extraordinary week in Australian politics. Surrounded by family, he used his final speech as leader to lash out at the Liberal Party chaos that brought about his downfall.

“I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty, how the insurgents were not rewarded,” he said.

“The people who chose — Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott and others — who chose to deliberately attack the government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the government down.”

Since then, however, there has been very little from Mr Turnbull senior. His only Twitter activity has been to acknowledge the departure of his former deputy, Julie Bishop, from the foreign minister’s role, and the death of US senator John McCain.

His son Alex had been actively commenting on Liberal Party divisions, telling one publication his father “fought the stupid and the stupid won”.

Meanwhile, Mr Turnbull’s successor, Mr Morrison, flew to Indonesia on Friday to finalise a free trade agreement that has been years in the making. Until the turmoil of last week, Mr Turnbull, who had a close relationship with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, had been expected to go.

In Indonesia, Mr Morrison acknowledged Mr Turnbull’s work had made his trip – after just a week as Prime Minister – possible.