Fed assistant minister loses preselection

Federal assistant minister Jane Prentice has lost the preselection battle for her Queensland seat.Turnbull government assistant minister Jane Prentice is set to lose her place in parliament at the next federal election after failing to win preselection.

Her former staff member, Brisbane City councillor Julian Simmonds, was instead chosen as the Liberal National Party’s candidate for the Queensland seat of Ryan on Saturday.

Ms Prentice has been the LNP’s MP for Ryan – a safe LNP seat in Brisbane’s western suburbs – since 2010 after a decade serving on the council.

She was appointed assistant minister for social services and disability services by Malcolm Turnbull in 2016.

Mr Simmonds said he was “very pleased” to have been selected.

“I’ll be standing up and fighting for our area,” he said in a statement.

LNP president Gary Spence thanked Ms Prentice for being a “faithful servant”.

“(She) has our thanks and gratitude for a lifetime of support for the Liberal Party and LNP,” he said.

“We expect that her role as the assistant minister for social services and disability services will continue until the election, especially given the fantastic work that she is doing with the NDIS.”

Queensland Labor senator Murray Watt said he sorry to see Ms Prentice booted out by her own party.

“We differed on much but we shared territory when I was a State MP. A hard working, caring member – one of the few remaining moderates (and women!) they had left,” he tweeted on Saturday.

Fellow Labor MP Andrew Giles said Ms Prentice was a “thoughtful, decent and thoroughly competent Liberal”.

“That there’s no space for her views speaks volumes to the sad state of the LNP,” he wrote on Twitter.

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