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Turnbull ‘meets’ Abbott foes

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Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has been seen with key backers of the original attempt to destabilise Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a day after publicly criticising his party.

On Thursday, the Communications Minister, who has consistently ranked as more popular than the current PM, reportedly met with Wyatt Roy and Andrew Laming, both of whom backed the failed leadership spill motion.

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Mr Turnbull also attended a private fundraiser with Mal Brough, a former minister under John Howard who has openly criticised Mr Abbott and who was briefly touted as a ‘stalking horse’ or spill motion instigator.

This came after Mr Turnbull lambasted as “thoroughly bad” Treasurer Joe Hockey’s suggestion that young Australians be allowed to use their super funds to buy a home.

The Minister, who insists that Mr Abbott will take the party to the next election, has also taken aim at his party’s controversial budget.

On Wednesday, Mr Turnbull seemed to criticise how Mr Abbott and others used slogans and spin to sell the unpopular laws, most of which have stalled in the Senate.

“We need an evidence-based, spin-free, fair dinkum debate about the budget position and what we should do to fix it,” he said.

Mr Turnbull is campaigning in Queensland and has visited a radio station and spoken at an event with Luke Howarth, who on February 4 backed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership.

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