Farrer MP Sussan Ley joined other senior Liberal Party figures including the Prime Minister yesterday in publicly encouraging former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to run in a Sydney seat in next year's federal election.
The 'Gladys to Canberra' campaign ramped up with Scott Morrison and cabinet members, Ms Ley and Simon Birmingham, pushing for Ms Berejiklian to contest Warringah which the Liberals lost to independent Zali Steggall in 2019.
Ms Berejiklian quit as NSW Premier in September when named as the subject of an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry which looked at whether she should have disclosed a personal relationship with disgraced former state member for Wagga, Daryl Maguire.
Ms Ley told the ABC yesterday that residents in Farrer had raised concerns with her about the "public shaming" of Ms Berejiklian during the subsequent ICAC hearings.
"That process will take its course, but what I will say is just from the people I represent, they were horrified of this public shaming seemed to be happening on their television screens every day," Ms Ley said.
"A lot of people reached out to me directly to actually say 'why is this happening to our Premier who has done so much for us?' and were really quite angry on her behalf."
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Ms Steggall's cross-bench colleague and member for Indi Helen Haines, who has been campaigning for a federal integrity body, declined to comment on the push for Ms Berejiklian to run in Warringah.
But Mr Morrison left the door open for Ms Berejiklian.
"There is no suggestion of criminal conduct by Gladys Berejiklian, none whatsoever," he said.
"Gladys was put in a position of actually having to stand down and there were no findings of anything.
"If she wants to have a crack at Warringah for the Liberal Party, I suspect the people in Warringah would welcome that."
Mr Birmingham said: "Gladys has been a friend of mine for decades and I know she has immense and incredible talent".
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