Forde MP Bert van Manen breaks silence on vote

Then prime minister Tony Abbott and Forde MP Bert van Manen during Mr Abbott's visit to the electorate in February this year.
Then prime minister Tony Abbott and Forde MP Bert van Manen during Mr Abbott's visit to the electorate in February this year.

FORDE MP Bert van Manen has broken his silence over his part in the ousting of Tony Abbott declaring via Facebook that he backed Malcolm Turnbull in the leadership ballot.

The second-term MP and long term Abbott supporter refused to comment on his vote when interviewed by the Times on Tuesday.

“That’s the beauty of the party room,” he said.

“It’s a secret ballot so I’ll leave it at that.”

Mr van Manen has since set the record straight, responding to comments from Forde voters on his Facebook page last night.

“After much consideration and thought, including a discussion with Mr Abbott prior to the vote, I elected to vote for Mr Turnbull,” he wrote.

“In my view and with the knowledge and insight available to me, I believe firmly that the decision made is in the best interests of the country.”

Mr van Manen’s comments followed speculation in the media on Wednesday about how the votes fell.

Mr Abbott, with Forde MP Bert van Manen, speaks to voters during a visit to the electorate in February.

Mr Abbott, with Forde MP Bert van Manen, speaks to voters during a visit to the electorate in February.

The Australian reported a claim that as many as 10 MPs switched to support Malcolm Turnbull during the ballott, including Mr van Manen.

Mr van Manen referred to the report in a second Facebook comment last night.

“I’ve been honest with people when they have asked who I voted for,” he said.

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