The person most likely to take over as New South Wales’ prime minister has been revealed after an announcement praised by Gladys Berejiklian.
New South Wales Chancellor of the Exchequer Dominic Perot has been established as the state’s next prime minister with a deal to install Stuart Ayres as his deputy.
Mr Perrottet officially announced his candidacy at a press conference in Sydney on Sunday night.
But he won’t get the top spot without a fight at this point, as sole declared contender Rob Stokes has confirmed his name is still in the ring.
The New South Wales Treasurer said the decision was ultimately a matter for the party room on Tuesday.
“For the past 48 hours, I have had the opportunity to discuss with my wife, Helen, my family and colleagues, my intention to nominate today the Liberal Leader of the Parliamentary Party,” he said.
I’m doing it, along with a jobs secretary like Stuart Ayres…as my deputy commander. We think it’s a team that will provide stability, unity and experience.”
Mr. Perrottet commended the “untiring dedication to our first president, Gladys Berejiklian”.
“There is no doubt that New South Wales is a much better place today because of the tireless dedication of the Prime Minister,” he said.
“For the past 18 months, where I have worked closely with her, as her Deputy and Treasurer, as we navigate the droughts during this pandemic, and in NSW we are stronger today because of her tireless, servant-leading to the people of NSW.
“The past 18 months have been incredibly difficult, but I have no doubt that NSW will go through this difficult time, just as we did last year, not just to recover, but to come out the other side, much stronger.
“I know this is a challenging time in our state but I have full hope and optimism that NSW is in a very good place.”
Environment Secretary Matt Kean, a moderately powerful broker who is doing the numbers to appoint right-winger Mr Perrottet as prime minister, is expected to be named treasurer.
If the contest reaches the NSW Liberal Party Chamber on Tuesday, it would be the first time the Liberals have voted for a new leader in nearly twenty years.
The tradition in recent decades has been to negotiate a bloodless transfer of power and this was the case when former New South Wales Prime Minister Barry O’Farrell handed over to Mike Bird and in the transfer of power to Gladys Berejiklian nearly five years ago.
MP Stuart Ayres of Western Sydney is the husband of Secretary of State, Marise Payne.
Penrith’s state seat is now on a knife edge as a result of the redistribution putting him at real risk of losing it in the next election that won’t be due until 2023.
The faction deal to hand over leadership to the New South Wales Treasurer comes amid confirmation that Liberal candidate Andrew Constance will resign from the NSW Parliament by the end of the year to contest Gilmore’s federal seat from the Liberal Party.
His announcement came just two days after New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said she was resigning as a result of a corruption investigation into her conduct in office.
“Like many of us, I feel sad for my old friend Gladys Berejiklian,” Mr Constance said on Sunday.
“By retiring from the State Cabinet and the Parliament of New South Wales, I will provide the next leader the opportunity to fill this position.”
Constance earlier criticized the prime minister for “getting the welcome he deserves” in Cobargo, New South Wales, after he angered local residents during the bushfires.
However, he was previously involved in a short-running campaign for the initial selection for federal seat, Eden Monaro, in 2020.
Ms Berejiklian said she would be leaving Parliament at the earliest opportunity after anti-corruption watchdog ICAC announced an investigation into whether she had breached public trust in relation to grants to community organizations while in a confidential relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
“I state categorically, I have always acted with the highest level of integrity,” she said when she announced her resignation.
Ms Berejiklian will be officially replaced as prime minister when the Liberal Party elects her successor on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old Catholic and father of six is the leader of the party’s right-wing faction and deputy leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party.
MP Epping lives in northwest Sydney with his wife Helen and children Charlotte, Amelia, Annabelle, William, Harriet and Beatrice.
Mr Perrottet studied law at the University of Sydney and worked as a barrister before being elected to the NSW Parliament in 2011.
He previously held ministerial positions as Minister of Finance and Industrial Relations.
Kane, the leader of the party’s moderate faction, helped broker the deal to install Gladys Berejiklian as prime minister in 2017 with Mr Perotette as her deputy.
Since then, there has been an understanding between the two men that Mr. Keane will support Mr. Perrottet as the next leader of the party.
Meanwhile, a mysterious dancing man overwhelmed Perrotette on Sunday night. The press conference was briefly overshadowed by the energetic dance of a citizen without a mask who appeared over his right shoulder just as he delivered the big news he was going to run for the highest office live.