Former police minister Rob Johnson has put up his hand for the job of speaker in the new parliament, saying he was previously endorsed for the role by Premier Colin Barnett.
Mr Johnson, who in June accused Mr Barnett of “betraying” him by removing his ministerial portfolio, on Friday said he was interested in being the speaker - despite reported opposition from his Liberal colleagues.
The West Australian reported today that Liberal MPs do not want him as Speaker.
He had flagged his interest with Mr Barnett before Nationals MP Grant Woodhams announced last year that he was retiring from the speaker's role at this year's March election.
“And Colin said to me 'Rob, you would be an excellent speaker',“ Mr Johnson told ABC radio.
“I felt that we had an understanding and an agreement that this would be the case.
“Now, everybody's entitled to change their views if they want to and I don't know if Colin is going to change his views on that or not.”
Mr Johnson said he and the Premier did not “do deals”.
“But I felt that there was a fair understanding that he would like me to be the speaker,” he said.
When Mr Johnson was stripped of his role as police and road safety minister as part of a cabinet shake-up in June last year, he demanded an explanation as to why Mr Barnett had dumped him.
The Premier had been under pressure to banish him to the backbench to improve the Government's re-election chances after removing his emergency services portfolio in December 2011. following the disastrous Margaret River bushfires.
Mr Johnson was also angry when Federal MP and fellow Liberal Don Randall called him bumbling and incompetent after the Opposition dubbed him “Inspector Clouseau”.
Mr Johnson also said today that he had a good relationship with Mr Barnett despite last year's tensions.
“I have always respected Colin Barnett as the leader. There's no question about that ... and I would continue to do so,” he said.
“I think he has respect for me - I hope he does anyway.
“It's a professional respect. We're not bosom buddies. We don't go out to dinner with each other but most members of parliament don't do that anyway.”
Mr Johnson said others wanted the speaker's job but he had more experience and was well regarded.
He was interested as it involved parliamentary procedure and overseeing the committee system.
"Many people have said some wonderful things about me, not only in police but also about the road safety, and the fact that I managed to ensure that 100 per cent of the fines from speed and red light cameras went into the road trauma trust account for road safety purposes.
“I think that's a great achievement.”Others interested in the role include Mt Lawley MP Michael Sutherland and member for Kingsley, Andrea Mitchell.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.