Libs will not expel  Johnson
Outspoken: Rob Johnson. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

There will be no attempt to suspend or expel maverick MP Rob Johnson from the Liberal party room when it meets today.

The West Australian _can reveal South Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman has been the prime mover in the background trying to drum up support for a move against Mr Johnson.

But he has little, if any, support from his colleagues for any formal motion.

Liberal MPs were yesterday hosing down expectations that anything more than the possible airing of grievances would result from today's meeting.

Mr Edman's colleagues were urging him not to put any formal motion regarding Mr Johnson's future.

Many MPs have said that there is no provision in the parliamentary party's rules to suspend or expel an MP from the party room, pointing out that disciplinary matters are properly a matter for the lay party.

"I don't think we have the power to do anything about it," one said.

Many MPs are of the opinion that Mr Johnson's public criticism of the Government, while ill-disciplined, is more an annoyance than damaging.

"It's going to fizz out," an MP said. "It may or may not even be discussed to be honest."

Another MP rubbished the suggestion there were 10 MPs prepared to back Mr Edman in a move against Mr Johnson, saying there might be as few as one.

"Everyone's trying to tell him (Mr Edman) he's crazy," the MP said. "A few people will speak up, but why would you even worry? If you throw him out, then he's a martyr."

Mr Edman did not return calls yesterday.

There is broad concern among MPs that Mr Johnson may be responsible for party room leaks. Last month, he aired details of the party room's reaction to Troy Buswell's return to Parliament.

Mr Johnson declined to comment.

The West Australian

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