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Malcolm Turnbull is new leader of Australia's Liberals

Turnbull Within one hour of Brendan Nelson becoming John Howard's successor, 292 days ago, Malcolm Turnbull had, blogs Samantha Maiden, "stormed into the new Liberal leader’s parliamentary office... tearing into Nelson over his “funereal speech” and urging him to toughen up." Mr Nelson was never allowed another moment's peace and quiet during his turbulent tenure as leader.

Yesterday he called a surprise leadership election in the hope of throwing his year-long rival, Mr Turnbull off balance.  Today - with astonishing speed - his gamble failed and his fellow MPs chose Mr Turnbull to be their leader (by 45 votes to 41).  Mr Turnbull lost to Mr Nelson by 45 votes to 42 last year.  Mr Nelson has said that he will now return to the backbenches.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is calling it "The Turnbull Experiment".  Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is seen by many as a one man band and loose cannon.  Many of those 41 Liberal Party MPs who voted against him worried that he would be inadequately respectful of others' views - the reverse problem of Mr Nelson, a leader who had been too ready to agree with every colleague.

Turnbull is the son of a single father, a self-made multi-millionaire and an avowed moderniser, particularly on the issue of the environment.

TurnbullwrightHe will be known to many Britons as the lawyer who successfully defended Peter Wright in the Spycatcher case and as a champion of making Australia a republic.

Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, has already challenged Mr Turnbull to help him lead the nation away from the monarchy.

> The Sydney Morning Herald have published this three minute photo and audio profile.

> PlayPolitical video: Mr Turnbull's victory press conference

> In the video below Mr Turnbull makes his first appearance at the Australian Parliament's daily ministerial questions:


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