Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday stripped requirements for reducing greenhouse emissions from his centrepiece energy policy in the face of political opposition, although the country remains a signatory to the Paris Agreement.
"In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver", Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday.
Mr Dutton launched a media campaign to reach out to Australian voters on Wednesday morning, going on Melbourne radio to call for a royal commission into fuel and energy prices. I respect all my colleagues and want to help them and help the team make sure we can win the next election". If just seven more Liberal MPs switched their support to Mr Dutton, he would have the numbers to seize the leadership.
His post-dinner arrival will do nothing to stem speculation about a potential leadership challenge within days, but more likely after the results of next week's opinion polls.
It is understood that Mr Dutton, Queensland's senior Conservative leader, originally wasn't planning to attend the dinner or Cabinet talks but changed his mind.
Then, he resigned from the frontbench and his role as Home Affairs Minister. However, he has said to me - and we have had a good discussion about it here in my office - he said to me that he doesn't feel he can remain in the Cabinet, having challenged me for the leadership of the party.
Despite the spill, Dutton said he had "no personal animosity" against Malcolm Turnbull, rather he felt he was the best person to ensure Opposition leader Bill Shorten never gains prime ministership.
"He thanked his colleagues for their support", Ms Marino said.
"Unity has to be created and loyalty has to be earned". With almost six prime ministers in eight years, why is the previously stable "Lucky Country" suddenly so politically treacherous?
His camp believes it could get to the 43 votes needed to oust Mr Turnbull, but the prime minister's backers says he still had majority partyroom support.
Nearly three decades ago Paul Keating fired what he insisted was his "one shot in the locker" to try to blast prime minister Bob Hawke from Labor's leadership.
No Australian prime minister has recovered after a leadership challenge.
A parade of ministers who voted against Mr Turnbull were asked in parliament whether they supported him, and all answered yes. That would potentially coincide with Mr Turnbull's 40th consecutive Newspoll loss.
Turnbull declared the leadership vacant within minutes of the Liberal MPs gathering in Parliament House for their regular meeting on Tuesday morning, triggering a vote. He may yet have to do a deal with Abbott, who is known to be mistrusted by both the liberal and conservative wings of the party, but still commands considerable support among the backbenchers.
After losing Dutton, a former police officer who ran a powerful department that oversees the country's domestic spy service, border force and national police, quit and moved to the backbench, broadcaster ABC reported.
"It's over for him, give it two weeks", a Dutton supporter told the Australian Financial Review. People are saying we don't know much about him, I think he would do an excellent job. I would like to contribute to public debates. It is a political sore point for Turnbull, as he lost the Liberal leadership to Abbott in 2009 for backing emissions trading.