RIP Malcolm Fraser
Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has died.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that after a brief illness John Malcolm Fraser died peacefully in the early hours of the morning of 20 March 2015,” a statement read.
“We appreciate that this will be a shock to all who knew and loved him, but ask that the family be left in peace at this difficult time.”
Malcolm Fraser was prime minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983.
He was Australia’s 22nd prime minister, taking the job in events so dramatic they still reverberate decades on.
Mr Fraser was sworn in as caretaker prime minister in 1975 after the Whitlam government was dismissed in a constitutional crisis that followed months of budget deadlock in the Senate.
He led the Liberals to victory in the 1975 election before being succeeded by Labor’s Bob Hawke in 1983.
While the political left loathed Mr Fraser for his role in the 1975 “coup” against Gough Whitlam the pair developed a close friendship post politics.
In recent years, Mr Fraser had become an outspoken critic of the Liberal Party and quit the party in 2010 over the party’s lurch to the right on issues such as immigration.