Formerly disgruntled Liberal MPs have publicly backed Prime Minister Tony Abbott just four weeks after a failed motion to have him removed as leader, telling the ABC Mr Abbott is “a new man”.
Queensland MPs Andrew Laming and Mal Brough said they were pleased with the scrapping of the unpopular Medicare co-payment, and called it “hard evidence” the prime minister was now listening.
Both Mr Laming and Mal Brough had previously criticised Mr Abbott over the proposal, with Mr Brough last month declaring Mr Abbott had lost his “unequivocal support”.
The men have now thrown their support behind the embattled leader, with Mr Brough telling the ABC Mr Abbott was trying to becoming more consultive and had his “total support”.
“What I can say to you is you have seen a person recognise where there are shortcomings, he’s tried to address those shortcomings,” Mr Brough said.
Mr Laming said the $5 co-payment had done “enormous damage to the Coalition brand”, but said he believed the government was now on the right path after the “death” of the policy.
“I’ve got no doubt Tony Abbott is a new man since the [failed leadership spill motion] of a couple of weeks ago,” Mr Laming said.
“I think you’ll see a renewed Coalition now.”
Just four weeks ago, Mr Abbott narrowly survived a push from backbenchers to have him removed from the prime ministership, 61 votes to 39, and promised to be more consultive.