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Turnbull sworn in as Australia's fourth PM in just over two years

Malcolm Turnbull has moved to reassure Australia that its government remains strong despite an internal party revolt that has made him the country's fourth new leader in just over two years.

Mr Turnbull has been sworn in as Australia's 29th prime minister today after a surprise ballot of his conservative Liberal Party colleagues voted 54-to-44 on Monday night to replace Tony Abbott only two years after he was elected.

There's been a change of prime minister, but we are a very, very strong government, a very strong country with a great potential and we will realise that potential working very hard together.

This is a turn of events I did not expect, I have to tell you, but it's one that I'm privileged to undertake and one that I'm certainly up to.

– Malcolm Turnbull


Fifth new PM for Australia in eight years of ousting

Tony Abbott arrived at work as Australia's Prime Minister today, only to find out shortly after that he was to be challenged for the top job.

He ran as a candidate but was ousted by the second richest person in the country and fellow Liberal Party member, Malcolm Turnbull, who beat him in the poll beat by 54 votes to 44.

This is the fifth time the country has changed its leadership in eight years.

ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reports:

Australia to get new PM after Tony Abbott loses ballot

Malcolm Turnbull beat Tony Abbott in a leadership ballot. Credit: PA

Australia is to have a new Prime Minister after Tony Abbott was defeated by Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot.

Mr Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former banker and tech entrepreneur, beat Mr Abbott by 54 votes to 44 in the Liberal leadership ballot.

It means the country will get its fifth Prime Minister in eight years and follows months of speculation and crumbling support from voters for Mr Abbott.

Mr Abbott was beaten by 54 votes to 44 in the ballot. Credit: PA

Mr Turnbull will become Prime Minister when he is sworn in by Governor General Peter Cosgrove.

Julie Bishop will remain as the party's deputy leader after seeing off Kevin Andrews in a vote.

Ahead of the ballot, Mr Turnbull told reporters: "Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs."

Australia to accept 12,000 more Syrian refugees

Tony Abbott said Australia would take 12,000 more Syrian refugees than previously planned. Credit: RTV

Australia will accept 12,000 refugees from Syria on top of an existing resettlement programme, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said.

Abbott added that the country would be extending its air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq into neighbouring Syria.

Australia's existing programme allocates 13,750 places a year to people fleeing violence in Syria.

The country's PM - who has taken a hard line on immigration since taking power - had previously come in for criticism over his response to the crisis.


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