Labor relishing prospect of a Campbell Newman comeback in the federal seat of Brisbane

Former premier Campbell Newman is rumoured to be considering a federal run. Photo: Renee Melides
Nanjing Night Net

Teresa Gambaro quits: LNP figures blast ‘dummy spit’

Senior Liberal National sources have cast doubt on speculation Campbell Newman could make a political comeback and run in the next federal election, despite the former Queensland Premier reportedly failing to rule out interest in the seat of Brisbane.

But the Labor candidate Pat O’Neill said he would relish a fight against the former leader whom voters turfed out of office after just one term only a little more than one year ago.

Outgoing MP and moderate Teresa Gambaro, was accused of throwing an epic dummy spit in announcing her retirement from the marginal seat, where her name recognition plays a major part in the LNP’s vote in the electorate.

Ms Gambaro, whose political career never recovered after she was forced to apologise for saying migrants should be taught to wear deodorant, denied the claim and said she wanted to spend more time with her family.

She faced a fierce preselection battle against former Peter Dutton staffer Trevor Evans whom senior LNP figures told Fairfax Media they expected would win the nomination following her announcement. Ms Gambaro was a strident critic of deposed Prime Minister Tony Abbott but it was his intervention that saved her preselection, until she decided to quit.

But with speculation Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could call a double-dissolution election for 2 July, Campbell Newman has emerged as a possible high-profile contender for the seat.

Mr Newman furthered the speculation when he failed to rule out a tilt when approached by News Corp. He lost the LNP office in Queensland after just one term and was also rejected by voters in his own state seat of Ashgrove.

Labor’s candidate, Pat O’Neill who is a serving army major said he would relish the prospect of a renewed fight against Mr Newman and declared he could “absolutely” win it.

“I would love to be in a fight against Campbell Newman because I fundamentally disagree with some of his actions as Premier and the way with which he treated the people of Queensland and Brisbane,” he said.

Mr O’Neill is gay and said Mr Campbell’s decision in office to repeal civil marriages would hurt him in the socially progressive seat of Brisbane.

“Campbell Newman shares the same values as Malcolm Turnbull who has the same policies as Tony Abbott,” he said.

Ms Gambaro was a strong supporter of same-sex marriage and helped lead the charge within the Coalition to draft a cross-parliament same-sex marriage bill.

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