McBride plays political cards close to chest

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride has responded to intense capital city media speculation that he intends to quit the Liberal Party.

“I note speculation in the media that I am considering becoming an Independent,” Mr McBride said in a statement issued to newsrooms on Monday night.

“I do not wish to make any further comment at this stage, other than to indicate that I will continue to engage with my constituents to ascertain their opinions on a variety of matters.”

Multiple Adelaide media outlets have reported that Mr McBride was at odds with Premier Steven Marshall at a Liberal Party room meeting earlier this month.

According to the reports, Mr McBride will decide his future in the coming fortnight.

There are already five crossbenchers among the 47 members of the House of Assembly with the next poll due within six months.

The 51-year-old is aligned with the minority conservative faction of the Liberal Party and has crossed the floor on four occasions to vote against the State Government.

Educated at Kingston Community School and Prince Alfred College, the grazier is a member of the Adelaide Club and a great grandson of Menzies-era Defence Minister Sir Phillip McBride.

After winning a robust preselection contest against five others, Mr McBride was elected in 2018 following the retirement of long-serving Liberal MP Mitch Williams after 21 years in office.

Mr Williams had himself quit the Liberal Party ahead of the 1997 poll and successfully stood as an independent by unseating ex-Liberal leader Dale Baker.

He re-joined the Liberal Party two years later.

The MacKillop electorate will expand to take in Pinnaroo and Tailem Bend at the 2022 poll.

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