Malcolm Turnbull has downplayed his following of a Vote Tony Out Instagram page. Picture: Sean Davey
Malcolm Turnbull has downplayed his following of a Vote Tony Out Instagram page. Picture: Sean Davey

Turnbull fires up over Instagram drama

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has downplayed being one of the first people to follow an Instagram page that listed reasons why Tony Abbott should be voted out of Australian parliament.

In two pointed tweets this morning, Mr Turnbull said it was "obvious" following someone on social media did not "imply support, approval or endorsement".

"The more you try to bully people into NOT reading something the more they will do so," he wrote.

The former PM, his wife Lucy and their son Alex were some of the first people to follow the account named Vote Tony Out.

The page has garnered more than 10,000 followers in less than a week, helped along by the account making national news.

The Roseville branch of the Liberal Party has moved for the expulsion of Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party after he followed the page.

The motion passed 16-2, and will now go to the party's federal electorate conference.

Sources say the motion was partially motivated by Mr Turnbull's Instagram follow of the Vote Tony Out page, as well as his failure to support Liberal candidate Dave Sharma in the Wentworth by-election.

Vote Tony Out is part of a grassroots campaign that encourages Warringah voters to stop supporting Mr Abbott.

"Warringah and its citizens, why we don't like Tony Abbott, one story at a time," the Vote Tony Out page reads in its mission statement.

 

Malcolm Turnbull, his wife and his son followed the page.
Malcolm Turnbull, his wife and his son followed the page.

 

The account is run by Manly surf business owner Mark Kelly.

The 54-year-old told The Australian a lot of people in his electorate found Mr Abbott frustrating.

"We're a little disappointed in Tony Abbott as our local member and we decided to do something about it," he said.

But it was the former leader's refusal to take part in the same-sex marriage postal vote last year that really tipped Mr Kelly over the edge.

"The main thing, at the end of the day, was when 75 per cent of his electorate voted Yes for gay marriage and he abstained on a conscience vote … Our electorate spoke pretty loudly then and he chose to ignore them," he said. "If he can't stand up and represent the people of Warringah then he shouldn't be a representative of those people."


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