‘Stupid factional games’: Tensions high over MP move

 

ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk's Government was in turmoil last night with revelations a backbench MP had defected to the Left faction, handing greater power to deputy Jackie Trad.

Second-term Ipswich West MP Jim Madden, a member of state parliament's state development committee, informed colleagues late yesterday that he was quitting the Queensland Premier's Right faction to join the Left.

Mr Madden's defection along with the recent election of Lance McCallum to the Ipswich seat of Bundamba hands the Left faction, which Ms Trad heads, 23 votes within Labor's 48-member caucus and more power to push through its own agenda.

State Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden pictured at a political town hall meeting in 2018.
State Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden pictured at a political town hall meeting in 2018.

The factional brawl in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic will be a bitter blow to Ms Palaszczuk, who has steadily regained some of her lost popularity leading Queensland out of the crisis.

It is understood Mr Madden, a former lawyer, had grown disgruntled with his failure to win promotion to the ministry or a committee chair role and remained well down the pecking order for elevation within the Right.

Right faction figures were last night seething at Mr Madden for seeking to advance his ambitions amid a crisis and angry that the Left faction had helped him orchestrate the move.

Their anger was directed at Ms Trad who remains a divisive figure within the Labor Party, with the Treasurer's integrity crisis blamed for the Government's ongoing poor performance in opinion polls.

"Annastacia stuck by Jackie and this is how she f---ing repays her," one senior Labor figure said last night.

"In the middle of the crisis we are playing these stupid factional games when we should be developing ways to help Queenslanders get back into jobs."

Defections from factions are rare within Queensland Labor and Mr Madden's shift could seriously destabilise the Government just six months from the October 31 state election.

Originally published as 'Stupid factional games': Tensions high over MP move