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Liberal MP Craig Kelly stunned his peers when he told the coalition chamber that he would step down from the ranks of the government and immediately join Crossbench as an independent

Mr Kelly told his colleagues Tuesday morning that he would continue to support the government on issues of supply and confidence, sources in the room shared with

Mr Kelly told the room he wanted to “stay true to” what he believed in and in himself, a source said sources in the party room said he was “very kind and generous” to Prime Minister Scott Morrison

He later told Sky News Australia that he resigned with a “heavy heart” but could only speak “openly” and “fearlessly” from the cross bench

He said he had “the greatest respect” for Mr Morrison and hoped that he would continue to become one of the most successful Prime Ministers

A government source said neither Mr. Morrison nor his office had been forewarned of Mr. Kelly’s decision

His departure from Crossbench to sit as an Independent reduces the government’s number of seats in the House of Representatives from 151 to 76, which means Mr Morrison needs at least one of Crossbench’s to provide support on the ground / p>

Labor MP Tanya Plibersek and Liberal MP Craig Kelly clash when they cross in the Parliament Building’s press galleryCredit: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr. Kelly, who holds the NSW headquarters of Hughes in south Sydney, was an increasingly controversial figure during the coronavirus pandemic as he promoted alternative treatments for the virus on his social media

Last week, he was banned from posting on Facebook for a week after violating the tech giant’s COVID-19 misinformation policy

Following a recent public clash with Labor MP Tanya Plibersek over treatment for COVID-19, Mr. Kelly was “disguised” by Mr. Morrison for telling him he could not support his actions and did not want him to Views expressed about it were against Health Council

Mr Kelly later made a public statement declaring his willingness to support the government’s introduction of vaccines

Facebook deleted four coronavirus-related posts from Mr Kelly’s official MP Facebook page last week, including one comparing child abuse masks by children

Since the coalition government formed, Mr. Kelly has been one of the most prolific media artists and an outspoken critic of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on energy policy

He won the first Hughes seat in 2010 after Danna Vale retired Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison had to step in to save him from pre-selection challenges

Earlier this week, The Guardian announced that an employee currently being investigated for allegedly inappropriate behavior towards women is still working in Mr. Kelly’s office despite being the subject of an arrested violence order

Rob Harris is the National Affairs Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age at Parliament House in Canberra

Craig Kelly

World news – AU – Craig Kelly leaves the Liberal Party to switch to Crossbench

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/craig-kelly-resigns-from-the-liberal-party-to-move-to-the-crossbench-20210223-p574zq.html