Decision upsets Liberals

James Harker-Mortlock has upset Liberal Party heavy weights by announcing he will run for the federal seat of Hume.

Harker-Mortlock, president of the Burrinjuck Nationals, has announced he will run as an independent.

The move is seen as defying a Coalition agreement not to run a Nationals candidate in Hume.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos, president of the National Party (NSW), told the Tribune that he hoped the senior members of the National Party would be able to convince Harker-Mortlock not to run.

“But if he goes ahead, then we would expect the National Party to expel him.”

Hume MP and Liberal member, Alby Schultz, was furious at Harker-Mortlock’s decision.

“The agreement between the Liberal and National parties [to only run a Liberal candidate in Hume] is a legally binding agreement,” Schultz said.

“If he runs, it sends a loud and clear message that his actions are being condoned by the National Party.

“I’ve contacted senior members of the Liberal Party from Tony Abbot down.

“While Harker-Mortlock is a member of the National Party, he cannot run against an endorsed Liberal Party candidate, under the agreement.”

The Tribune’s attempts to contact National Party officials for comment before going to press were unsuccessful

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