Lyle Shelton has said he is seeking to rejoin the Queensland Liberal National party after the closure of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives party.
Shelton left the Australian Christian Lobby to run as a Senate candidate for Bernardi’s party at the federal election.
But following the party’s massive election failure, Shelton says he has now applied to join the Queensland LNP.
He said he recently began working for the party in the electorate office of Oodgeroo LNP MP Dr Mark Robinson.
“I am seeking to rejoin the LNP as I think sitting on the sidelines of partisan politics is no longer a responsible option for citizens who care about the direction of our state and nation,” Shelton wrote on Facebook.
“My commitment to influencing politics has not changed since the election and the closure of Australian Conservatives.
“I’ve been blessed with some consultancy work. In addition I am doing two days a week for a good friend, Mark Robinson MP. I’ve also been writing a book.”
But Queensland Labor frontbencher Kate Jones called on LNP leader Deb Frecklington to refuse Lyle Shelton membership to the party.
“This is a man who supports gay conversion therapy, actively protests against women’s rights and proudly posts selfies with the Proud Boys who are committed to reinstating a spirit of western chauvinism,” Jones said in a statement.
“Mr Shelton does not represent the views of ordinary Queenslanders. On Deb Frecklington’s watch the LNP have taken a giant step to the right and no longer represent mainstream views.
“[Frecklington] has to step up and say clearly that she rejects Mr Shelton’s views and refuse his membership to her party.”
Cory Bernardi closes Australian Conservatives after election failure
Lyle Shelton quit as managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby in February last year to join the Australian Conservatives.
But in June, Cory Bernardi announced he was deregistering the party. He cited its lack of political success at the federal election and lack of funds.
“The inescapable conclusion from our lack of political success, our financial position and the re-election of a Morrison-led Government is that the rationale for the creation of the Australian Conservatives is no longer valid,” he said.
Bernardi attributed the party’s poor result to Scott Morrison’s ascension to Prime Minister.
“Rather than punish the Coalition for another new leader, many conservatives breathed a sigh of relief that a man of faith and values was leading the Liberals back to their traditional policy platform,” Bernardi said.
Lyle Shelton caused outrage in 2017 when he said parents should have the option to send their children to harmful “gay conversion” therapy.
“I think anyone who wants to seek help for any issue they might be facing in their life should be free to do that,” Shelton said.
“Should people be forced to go to conversion therapy? No, absolutely not.
“Children are under the care and responsibility of their parents. So I think if someone’s a minor, it is up to their parents. And I think parental rights should be respected.”
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