Jeremy Hanson elected as new ACT Deputy Opposition Leader | The Canberra Times

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Jeremy Hanson will be the new ACT Deputy Opposition Leader, following the shock resignation of Giulia Jones. Mr Hanson, a former opposition leader, was elected unopposed by the Canberra Liberals party room on Tuesday morning. The resignation of Mrs Jones also prompted a reshuffle within the party, with the former deputy losing the shadow health portfolio to Leanne Castley. Mr Hanson previously served as the ACT opposition leader from 2013 to 2016. He resigned from the leadership following the Canberra Liberals’ 2016 election defeat. After the 2020 election loss, Mr Hanson contested a party room vote to become leader. but lost to Ms Lee. Mr Hanson was asked about further leadership ambitions on Tuesday, but he said he felt the deputy role was a good fit. “I just want to contribute to the Canberra Liberals team,” he said. “This is my 14th year [as a member], I’m passionate about it and I think this is a good role for me. “I’m just happy to contribute in any role and my colleagues have chosen that I’m the right fit for deputy.” The elevation of Mr Hanson will represent a shift for the party, as both he and Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee are part of the moderate faction. Ms Lee was asked about the chances for a Liberal government under two moderate leaders. She said this would represent a change for the leadership team. “I think we had a very good team as Giulia and I as the first all-female leadership team in the ACT, and I’m very proud of everything that we achieved in our time,” she said. “On saying that, I think Jeremy brings, of course, brings a difference to the leadership team, and I look forward to working with him.” Mr Hanson played down the factional differences involved in the deputy leadership change. “I think people play into those sort of games, but at the end of the day as a team of nine members, we’re all Liberals, we’re all committed to Canberra,” he said. A shadow cabinet reshuffle will see Ms Lee abandon her role as shadow attorney-general, with Peter Cain to now take on the role. Ms Lee will also take on energy and emissions reduction, as Ms Castley moves to the shadow health portfolio. Ms Lee said she moved Mrs Jones out of health due to her desire to spend more time with her family. “There’s no doubt health is a massive portfolio, and especially in the last few years,” she said. “With Giulia’s desire to spend more time with her family and the toll that the last two years have had on her and her family … I thought it was only fair that I did not continue to leave health with her.” Mrs Jones quit the deputy leader role on Monday, with the mother-of-six saying she wanted to be able to support her family. “Like so many Canberrans, I have felt very keenly the ongoing pressures of the coronavirus, a situation that will remain volatile and uncertain for some time to come,” Mrs Jones said in a statement on Monday. “As the mother of a large family, I want to provide them with the support they need and deserve.” MORE ACT POLITICS NEWS: However, political opponents were quick to jump on rumors of a rift between Mrs Jones and Ms Lee. Prime Minister Andrew Barr suggested there had been a “very significant relationship breakdown” between the pair. Ms Lee hit back, accusing Mr Barr of engaging in “gutter politics”. The Opposition Leader doubled down in her criticism on Tuesday, accusing the Prime Minister of being out of touch. “We have a very hardworking mother of six children, who has been through a hugely challenging time dealing with the pandemic as the health spokesperson for the opposition,” she said. “This, once again, goes to show the complete lack of touch that the Prime Minister has in understanding the enormous toll that the COVID 19 pandemic has had, and is continuing to have, on Canberra families.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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