Liberal MP breaks ranks to declare where his vote will land

Liberal MP Tjorn Sibma has labelled Libby Mettam his party’s “star performer” as he broke cover to declare he would “unequivocally” support the current Deputy Leader in Monday’s leadership vote.

The public show of support came as incumbent Liberal Leader David Honey’s backers – led by prominent Clan powerbroker Nick Goiran – remained silent over whether they would embrace change at the top of the embattled party.

Dr Honey on Saturday confirmed he intended to fight to retain the leadership – and that he would remain in Parliament and seek re-election to the blue-ribbon seat of Cottesloe in 2025 even if he lost on Monday.

Ms Mettam also said she had no intention of quitting her seat of Vasse if she fell short of the leadership.

In a telling move, Mr Sibma told The Sunday Times he had contacted both the under-siege Dr Honey and Ms Mettam on Saturday to inform them of his position.

Camera IconCredit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian, Tjorn Sibma, in Osborne Park, Perth.

“In my estimation, Libby Mettam, is the person most capable of leading the Liberal party,” Mr Sibma said.

“She has clearly been our star performer inside and outside the parliament having exposed the failures with our health system, and in leading cultural change in the mining industry through her landmark FIFO inquiry.

“In my view, she is also the person best placed to lead the Opposition Alliance.

“I unequivocally support Libby in a leadership ballot.”

Mr Sibma was the only Liberal prepared to publicly state his position, with his six remaining Legislative Council colleagues declining to comment.

That included conservative powerbroker and senior Clan member Nick Goiran, who just three months ago – in the wake of a poll that placed Dr Honey’s approval at a dismal 9 per cent – declared the Cottesloe MP was “doing a fantastic job”.

“David Honey has been doing a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances,” Mr Goiran told the media in November.

“I am actually surprised about how often it keeps coming up – manufactured, concocted by the mainstream media.

“It is fake news of the highest order to suggest there is any issue with regard to David Honey’s leadership.”

But on Saturday, Mr Goiran was not prepared to publicly back Dr Honey to keep his job.

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