Former prime minister Tony Abbott has accused Scott Morrison of misleading the public by falsely claiming he warned Abbott of an impending challenge from Turnbull.
In his first interview since being shunted to the backbench, Mr Abbott claimed he was never warned by Morrison.
“Not true, not true. Scott never warned anyone,” Mr Abbott told News Corp.
“I spoke to him on Friday [before the spill], not a hint of a warning.
“He certainly never warned me … not a hint of a warning. So I’m afraid Scott badly misled people. I was doing all I could to save the Government, that’s what I was doing.”
This contradicted claims from the new Treasurer, who on radio last week said he had tipped off the prime minister’s office.
The Australian reported on Tuesday that Mr Abbott was receiving contradictory advice from his friends as to whether to stay in Parliament as a backbencher or to retire.
Meanwhile, his successor Malcolm Turnbull has soared in the latest Newspoll, which rated him the most popular PM in more than five years.
Mr Abbott said he was not offered a portfolio in Turnbull’s new ministry.