Bernie Finn booted to cross bench

(Joe Mastroianni)

Elsie Lange

Western Metropolitan MP Bernie Finn has been voted out of the parliamentary Liberal party and onto the cross bench for “disrespect”, following anti-abortion social media posts last week.

Mr Finn’s former colleagues voted on the motion in a party room meeting on Tuesday morning, May 24.

Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy said the motion was about “respectful discourse”, even citing Mr Finn’s previous posts comparing premier Daniel Andrews to Hitler.

“It’s not about what people are saying, it’s about how it’s said and it’s about behaviour, I think I’ve made that very clear over the last week and a half,” Mr Guy said.

The push comes following Mr Finn’s controversial Facebook posts in which he said he was “praying” for abortion to be banned in Australia, even in the case of rape.

Mr Finn told Star Weekly on Wednesday, May 25, as many as “five, six or seven” parties had approached him since last year, including some “as late as yesterday”. He could not reveal who.

“I’m very seriously thinking about it, I have rejected those approaches up until this point. But of course yesterday puts a totally different complexion on everything,” Mr Finn said.

Following the announcement, footage showed Mr Finn making his way down the parliament steps toward a crowd of cheering supporters.

In a Facebook post later that day, Mr Finn said “Until relatively recently, such was the strength of my support for Matthew Guy, I would have taken a bullet for him. Today, he has decided to shoot one of his own through my head. Loyalty is not a word in his lexicon”.

Mr Guy said the decision was “about leadership”.

“I’m concerned about one thing – being a sensible, reasonable, alternative government and that is what we’re going to do, and that is what we are doing. It’s another example today,” Mr Guy said.

Mr Finn said he would make an announcement in “the not too distant future”.