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Peter Dutton has formally launched its bid for the Liberal party leadership, promising to unite its MPs and tackle the new Labor government on the economy.

Dutton, a former defence minister, pledged today to bring the moderate and conservative wings of the party together in a statement confirming his leadership tilt.

The Queensland MP will run unopposed for the top job and is set to become opposition leader.

Peter Dutton will be the next opposition leader.
Peter Dutton will be the next opposition leader. (Jamila Toderas)

“Labor talked a big game on the economy. They now have to deliver and we will hold them to account,” he said.

New South Wales MP Sussan Ley is the favourite to be Dutton’s deputy, while Angus Taylor and Stuart Robert are jockeying to be shadow treasurer.

Dutton would be the first leader of the Liberal Party from Queensland since it was established in 1944.

He highlighted his political experience in the portfolios of defence, home affairs, health, finance, assistant treasurer, sport and employment.

And he pledged to bring the fractured wings of the Liberal party together.

“We aren’t the’ Moderate Party’. We aren’t the ‘Conservative Party’. We are Liberals. We are the Liberal Party.

Sussan Ley is considered the frontrunner for deputy Liberal leader.
Sussan Ley is considered the frontrunner for deputy Liberal leader. (Alex Ellinghausen)

“We believe in families – whatever their composition. Small and micro businesses. For aspirational hard-working ‘forgotten people’ across the cities, suburbs, regions and in the bush,” he said.

Former home affairs minister Karen Andrews confirmed to the ABC yesterday that nobody else will take on Dutton for the role of opposition leader.

Dutton was a policeman before entering Parliament in 2001 at the age of 30.

Since then he has represented the seat of Dickson in Brisbane’s north.

Meanwhile, Labor MP Tanya Plibersek has apologised after comparing Peter Dutton to Harry Potter villain Voldemort on Nine Radio.

Liberal and Labor HQs tell two different stories

Ms Plibersek, who’s tipped to be the next Education Minister, has reached out to Dutton and has wished him luck.

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