Blair MP Shayne Neumann.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann. GLENN HUNT

Government a 'shambles' as House is closed down

UNPRECEDENTED scenes of chaos have shut down the House of Representatives in Canberra as Liberal members prepare to fight over the party's leadership today.

For the first time in recent memory, the government shut down parliament's lower house in preparation for a second spill motion.

A noon showdown between Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison is expected if 43 liberals sign a petition for Malcolm Turnbull to hold another party room meeting.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said it was an "extraordinary act" to close parliament.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said.

"They're without any legitimacy. It's a complete and utter shambles."

Mr Neumann said the government needed to call an election and would not predict who would win any Liberal Party ballot today.

"You have a Prime Minister with no authority, a challenger with no legitimacy (Mr Dutton) and a late candidate from left field (Mr Morrison)," he said.

"It doesn't matter who they put as their jockey, who they back in their own civil war."