Craig Kelly says he will run independently after quitting Liberal Party

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The NSW Liberal, who faced an uphill battle for pre-selection in his seat of Hughes, said he was resigning from the party because he felt restrained in what he could post online in regards to coronavirus treatments.

Earlier, the prime minister said he would not be “distracted” after Mr Kelly’s resignation, which squeezes the number in the lower for Scott Morrison’s government.

The backbench MP had been widely criticised by leading health officials over claims he was pushing misinformation about Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin through a series of Facebook posts.

Mr Kelly denies ever posting misinformation, but earlier this month was hauled before the prime minister for a please explain over his posts after a very public and heated exchange with Labor’s Tanya Plibersek.