Bitter Abbott slams party for dumping him as leader

2015-09-29 09:16
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.(Xinhua, Xu Haijing, AP)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.(Xinhua, Xu Haijing, AP)

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Sydney - Tony Abbott slammed his party colleagues on Tuesday for dumping him as Australian prime minister two weeks ago, declaring he could have won the next election.

Speaking in a live interview for the first time since he was ousted in a surprise challenge by Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott said Australia had a problem as it was changing leaders "like you might change your clothes to suit the fashion".

"The last four changes of prime minister, only one has been at the hands of the people," Abbott said, referring to the way Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd mid-term, and then Rudd in turn replaced Gillard.

"The difficulty with the revolving door prime ministership is that government can't do what is necessary for the long term good of our country if you're subject to death by polls and then ultimately a party room coup," Abbott said in a lengthy interview with conservative 2GB commercial radio.

Abbott's government had been behind the Labor opposition in opinion polls for 16 months before Turnbull challenged him for the leadership of the Liberal party. Since then Turnbull's government has jumped ahead of Labor in the polls. An election is due within 12 months.

Abbott conceded he had never been a popular leader according to the polls, but he was confident he would have won the next election had he been kept on as prime minister.

He avoided naming Turnbull, but said the government had not changed any of his policies since he was ousted.

Abbott said he would not be leaving public life but would make a decision before Christmas on whether to stay in parliament.

"I'm too young to retire, I've still got something to contribute in public life," Abbott said.

Read more on:    malcolm turnbull  |  tony abbott  |  australia

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