Lyle Shelton joins Family First

Conservative Christian campaigner Lyle Shelton has been appointed National Director of the Family First political party.

“Australians need a party that will take a bold and unequivocable stand for families,” said Family First Party National Chairman Tom Kenyon.

“The welfare and protection of families, our freedom, and our faiths should lie at the heart of our society and community. These are the foundations upon which western civilisation has been built, and they must continue to remain strong.”

Mr Kenyon said Australians were looking for a political home where their values for life, family and freedom would be championed by courageous advocates.

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Fred Nile invited Shelton, a former Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby to succeed him in the NSW parliament for the Christian Democratic Party (CDP). But Nile later withdrew his support, and the party was dissolved after infighting and litigation paralysed it.

However, Shelton had recruited hundreds of new members during his time as party campaign director and is a successful fund-raiser.

Unlike the CDP, the Family First Party seeks support from a broader base of voters than just Christians.

Shelton now heads to Victoria for the November state election. The party will attempt to have candidates elected to the upper house.

The party may favour its chances in a state with a progressive Labor government and a moderate Liberal Party, leaving room on the right.

After a four-year hiatus, Family First Party was re-born last year in time for the South Australian election. It polled a credible 3.8 per cent of the vote, coming very close to achieving representation in the Upper House. The new party featured ex-Labor MPs Jack Snelling and Tom Kenyon and ex-Liberal candidate Deepa Mathew.

In the SA election, the party was narrowly bested by One Nation, which grabbed the last right-wing seat in that State’s upper house. Family First – and Shelton have the task of finishing in front.

The first version of Family First, which prominent Pentecostal pastor Andrew Evans founded in 2002, was electorally successful in SA.

The Family First party is not registered in NSW, and there is not enough time for it to be registered before next year’s NSW state election. It has enough time to register for the next federal election.