The head of a free-market think tank with traditionally close ties to the Liberal Party has called for the party to be “destroyed”, claiming it is a “party of the left” and that most MPs are in denial over links between terrorism and Muslim immigration.
Paul McCarthy, a former adviser to West Australian Liberal leader Mike Nahan, said in a series of Facebook posts that he could count only three good Liberal MPs from Perth at a federal level and one at state level.
In a post last week, he named them as Andrew Hastie, Dean Smith and Linda Reynolds, along with state MP Peter Katsambanis.
Mr McCarthy is the chief executive of Perth’s Mannkal Foundation, which has sent scores of Young Liberal members on international scholarships over the past 20 years and is seen as a training ground for future MPs.
In posts about Islam, he lamented how South Australian senator Cory Bernardi had been “shouted down” in the federal partyroom when he tried to speak about links between terrorism and Muslim immigration. …
Last Thursday Mr McCarthy criticised Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s comments that Australia remained committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change despite the US decision to withdraw, saying this showed how the Liberal Party was “now a party of the left”. …
Mannkal’s chairman and founder, Ron Manners, a wealthy mining identity, has also fallen out with the Liberal Party after a property dispute with the Barnett government. In February, he wrote in an online post that he could not vote Liberal at the March 11 state election.
The growing antagonism between Mannkal and the WA Liberal Party has prompted a push by some in the party to establish a new conservative think tank.