Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.
Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

Liberal heavyweights support rival for Bronwyn Bishop's seat

FORMER speaker Bronwyn Bishop's preselection chances have been dealt a blow, with both Tony Abbott and New South Wales Premier Mike Baird writing references in support of a party official expected to run against her.

Walter Villatora is a former campaign director for Mr Baird and president of the Warringah federal conference, in Mr Abbott's seat.

He is expected to join a strong field to nominate for Liberal preselection in Mrs Bishop's Sydney seat of MacKellar, with nominations to close at 5:00pm this Friday.

Former prime minister Mr Abbott stood by Mrs Bishop during the "choppergate" scandal, enduring weeks of political damage, before she was finally forced to resign as speaker.

Mrs Bishop then switched her support to Malcolm Turnbull, when he challenged Mr Abbott to become prime minister.

Read more at ABC News Online



First baby born in hospital's new maternity ward

premium_icon First baby born in hospital's new maternity ward

There were lots of staff in the room. I didn't know what to expect.

EXCLUSIVE: How our new city centre will look

EXCLUSIVE: How our new city centre will look

Details released for new CBD master plan

Inspired effort: Why Games medallist loves helping kids

premium_icon Inspired effort: Why Games medallist loves helping kids

Ipswich achiever takes time out to encourage young players

Local Partners