Hanson snares the Leader’s role

Alastair Coe, left, congratulates Jeremy Hanson. Photo by Silas Brown

Alastair Coe, left, congratulates Jeremy Hanson. Photo by Silas Brown

FORMER army officer Jeremy Hanson has been elected new Opposition Leader by the Canberra Liberals party room.

Alistair Coe, who was tipped in a front-page splash in “The Canberra Times” this morning to be the leadership favourite, has secured the deputy’s position ahead of outgoing deputy leader and veteran Brendan Smyth.

“It’s a great honour to lead any political party, and to be elected by my colleagues is fantastic,” Mr Hanson said at a press conference this afternoon.

“Most Canberrans did not vote for a green, extreme government in Canberra. They want a government who looks out for them. They want good common sense values. That’s what we stood for under Zed Seselja and that’s what we stand for under Jeremy Hanson.”

The leadership ballot was caused by Opposition Leader of five years, Zed Seselja, announcing his intention to challenge long-standing Liberal Senator Gary Humphries for the number one spot on the Liberal ticket in the forthcoming general election in September.

Seselja will remain on the front bench in the House of Assembly pending an outcome of the Senate ticket, expected to take place later this month.

Mr Hanson, who was a strong performer in the October poll, said he “couldn’t ask for a better deputy” than Mr Coe.

“Alistair is the face of a new breed of the Liberal party,” he said.

“He is an enormously talented individual, it’s not just what he brings to the electorate but his performance in the assembly over the last four years is what made him deputy.”

Mr Hanson also paid tribute to Mr Smyth, who he said “has been a great champion of the Liberal Party.

“I have every desire, hope and wish that he will stay in the Liberal party because we need him,” he said.

The Assembly will sit tomorrow.

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Outgoing Deputy Opposition Leader Brendan Smyth congratulates his successor Alastair Coe. Photo by Silas Brown

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