Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has allegedly said she refused to back Tony Abbott in last week’s leadership spill because he forced her to resign.
Several of her colleagues reportedly told News Corp she voted for Malcolm Turnbull because she could not forgive her lifelong friend for his decision to dump her.
The veteran Liberal MP resigned from the Speaker’s chair in August after weeks of intense pressure over questionable travel entitlements claims – including a $5227 return chopper flight between Melbourne and Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.
Mr Abbott said at the time Mrs Bishop did the “right thing” by handing in her resignation, which was entirely her decision.
Mrs Bishop reportedly told colleagues the former PM handled the expenses scandal “appallingly” by making her resign, News Corp reported.
On the night of the spill, Mr Abbott’s supporters reportedly tried to secure Mrs Bishop’s vote, but were unable to contact her by phone.
At the time of Mrs Bishop’s resignation, Mr Abbott described her as one of his friends.
Mrs Bishop said in a statement she was quitting “because of my love and respect for the institution of Parliament and the Australian people”.
Following the expenses saga, Mr Abbott announced a fundamental “root and branch” review of MPs entitlements.