Court's humiliation complete
Author: David Reardon
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News And Features
With his pride in tatters, the West Australian Liberal Leader, Mr Richard
Court, was forced to resign yesterday after his plan to parachute in the Federal
MP Ms Julie Bishop as his successor fell apart amid party brawling.
A grim-faced Mr Court told a packed media conference that he was left with no
option but to resign as leader after Ms Bishop pulled out of an agreement to
leave Canberra for State politics.
``My commitment as the leader was based on this proposal and, given this
decision, it is now the appropriate course of action for me to stand down as the
leader of the party," Mr Court said.
Bundled out of power by Labor a fortnight ago, the 54-year-old former
premier's humiliation was complete yesterday when he relinquished his nine-year
grip on the leadership and announced he would leave politics within the next few
On Wednesday Mr Court revealed he would keep his seat warm for Ms Bishop
until her three-year term as MP for the seat of Curtin expired at the next
Federal election. The secret deal sparked a wave of protests among Liberals. The
former deputy leader, Mr Colin Barnett, who narrowly failed in a leadership
challenge on Wednesday, accused Mr Court of an ``act of treachery".
Ms Bishop said yesterday that it was in the best interests of the party to
put an end to the bitterness the deal had caused.