Tony Abbott's 'come to Jesus' moment

2015-06-02 11:20
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. (Mark Graham, AFP)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. (Mark Graham, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given ministers a dressing down over cabinet leaks describing it as a "come to Jesus moment" for senior officials.

Abbott "read the riot act" to his cabinet on Monday after top level discussions last week about denying citizenship to jihadist supporters, and frontbench rifts over the proposal, were leaked to the media before he went public with the plan.

Details of him blasting his ministers were also leaked on Wednesday, with both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Fairfax Media citing sources as saying staunch Catholic Abbott had spoken about it as a "come to Jesus moment".

One MP said he interpreted it to mean that ministers had "seen the light" about their actions while others said Abbott was attempting to give his cabinet an ultimatum that "you're either on the team or you ain't".

During the Monday meeting, Abbott warned of "personal and political" consequences of divulging cabinet discussions, without spelling out exactly what he meant, it was reported.

He sidestepped questions about the issue in parliament on Tuesday, to howls of derision from Labour, with senior opposition figure Anthony Albanese saying the description of the cabinet confrontation showed Abbott was "out of touch".

"You scratch your head and wonder how this guy ever got to the Lodge, with his three-word slogans," he said, referring to the prime minister's official residence in Canberra.

Abbott has a history of using odd phrases and catchy slogans, once referring to the Syria conflict as "baddies versus baddies" while last year threatening to "shirtfront" Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.