News National Abbott intends to remain in Parliament despite leadership loss

Abbott intends to remain in Parliament despite leadership loss

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Tony Abbott intends to stay in Federal Parliament, most likely on the backbench, after losing the prime ministership to his longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull.

It is understood the former leader does not want to trigger a by-election in his safe Sydney seat of Warringah.

Mr Abbott has not been seen in the House of Representatives since losing the leadership on Monday night.

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Instead, he has been busy taking calls from foreign leaders including United States president Barack Obama, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and the United Kingdom’s David Cameron.

“My intention is to remain in the Parliament,” Mr Abbott said.

“It’s been a tumultuous week and I now intend to spend some time with my family to think about the future.”

Influential minister Scott Morrison voted for Mr Abbott in the leadership ballot, even showing Cabinet colleague Kevin Andrews his ballot paper.

Malcolm Turnbull says he still intends to use public transport. Photo: Getty

But many of his close supporters backed Mr Turnbull.

Some conservatives suspect Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull did a deal to help bring down Mr Abbott, though the new Prime Minister has refused to answer questions about the leadership spill.

“Look, it’s kind of you to enquire but I’m not going to comment on leadership matters,” Mr Turnbull said with a smile.

Mr Turnbull has been busy receiving briefings, finding new staff and picking a frontbench.

But even though he now has a security detail and the use of a plane and a car, the new Prime Minister claimed he would not be throwing out his Sydney or Melbourne public transport cards.

“No, I wouldn’t do that. I’m very fond of them,” he said.

Mr Turnbull told reporters he still expected to catch the “occasional train or ferry”.

“I certainly intend to do so, perhaps not as much as I used to, but the AFP are certainly happy to accompany me,” he said.


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