Craig Kelly has resigned from the Liberal Party, having handed his letter of resignation to Scott Morrison during a party room meeting. Kelly has said he will sit on the crossbench but will continue to vote with the government on legislation related to the budget, and on legislation to do with policies taken to the 2019 election1. Kelly has been damaging the government with his constant spruiking of hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin as treatments for Covid-19.
Multiple high-quality studies have shown no benefit of hydroxychloroquine use as post-exposure prophylaxis or as a Covid-19 treatment, and a recent study has shown that hydroxychloroquine also has no effect in preventing mortality from Covid-192. Similarly, there is insufficient data to support the use of Ivermectin for prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19, such that it was not included in the December release of the British Medical Journal systematic review of Covid-19 drug treatments. While, as with hydroxychloroquine, there is evidence of in-vitro activity of ivermectin on infected cells, it is unlikely the necessary concentrations for an in-vivo effect could be attainable in humans3. Why Kelly keeps spruiking this drivel is unknown; one could be forgiven for believing he bought a shedload of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin and cannot shift it. Even sillier, he seems to have jumped on the antivaxxer bandwagon in questioning the safety of any Covid-19 vaccine, and taken a bit from the QAnon asylum in claiming that forcing children to wear masks was child abuse4.
Kelly has been so damaging to the government that Morrison surprised everyone and actually did something and criticised him, with all the stenographers in the media calling it a ‘dressing down’. It was Morrison who saved Kelly’s preselection prior to the 2019 election by offering his opponent (who had the numbers to oust Kelly) a $350,000 party job5. Kelly would not be looked upon so favourably before the next preselection, but he has said he will still contest the election as an ‘independent’. He will most likely lose, as his constant outspoken stupidity on almost everything6-9, has led to several groups trying to give him the boot from his electorate of Hughes, in much the same way Warringah gave the idiotic Tony Abbott the boot10-12.
I wouldn’t be surprised that Scott Morrison suggested that Kelly leave the Liberal Party with the promise of a sinecure when he loses his seat at the next election. During this parliament, this will allow Morrison, when Kelly spouts more ludicrous claims, to tell the voters he cannot do anything, as Kelly is not a member of his party. It is yet another way for Morrison to avoid responsibility.