NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is no longer facing a spill motion after rebel conservative MPs dropped their planned leadership challenge over her support for a bill to decriminalise abortion.
Three rebel Liberal MPS – Tanya Davies, Matthew Mason-Cox and Lou Amato – had threatened the leadership spill on Monday night.
But in a statement on Tuesday morning, Ms Davies confirmed the spill motion had been called off after being promised amendments would be considered.
“We have received confirmation that further concessions will be forthcoming in relation to amendments to the abortion bill,” she said.
“On this basis I have called the premier this morning and advised her that we will withdraw the spill motion to continue negotiations prior to the debate in the upper house commencing later today.”
It comes after senior ministers including Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who is leader of the NSW Nationals, had come to the premier’s defence.
“Our coalition is with Gladys and any move would be a dumb move,” he tweeted.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was another to back the Premier’s leadership.
“Gladys is the people’s choice as Premier and I support her as our leader,” he tweeted.
The legislation, which would allow for abortions up to 22 weeks with the consent of two doctors, has divided the Liberal party and sparked rallies for and against the bill.
In a statement released on Monday night, the trio had criticised Ms Berejiklian for presiding over a “shameful process”.
“We have respectfully and consistently requested the Premier to urgently intervene to restore proper process by stopping the fast-tracking of the abortion bill and immediately establish a joint select committee into abortion law reform in NSW,” the statement read.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill is due to be debated in the upper house on Tuesday.
Currently, for someone seeking an abortion after the 20-week point of pregnancy, there are no options in NSW.
The rebel Liberal MPs had expressed concerns that amendments to the bill were not being considered, and had planned to move the “empty chair” motion on Tuesday morning.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman also tweeted his support for Premier Berejiklian.
“Ms Berejiklian – delivering the strongest economy in Oz, the lowest unemployment, double Labor’s infrastructure, all with no debt; all setting us up to deliver stronger social outcomes this term. That’s leadership.”
While, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the motion was “comical”.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes was another to rally behind the leader saying Ms Berejiklian has his “full support”.
Ms Davies has previously said she and fellow critic of the bill were prepared to move to the crossbench over the issue, but in the statement, say they have instead decided to hold their leader to account.
The move comes just months after Ms Berejiklian led the Liberal-National Coalition to victory in March.