Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin could soon find herself back in the public eye amid reports she is considering a television deal with Sky News.
A controversial force in politics during her time beside the former Prime Minister, Ms Credlin is said to be negotiating a spot as a political commentator for the upcoming federal election with the Australian broadcaster.
The role would tap into her extensive knowledge after 16 years in federal politics.
The deal was close to being finalised, News Corp reported, but was yet to be signed. The New Daily contacted Ms Credlin for comment, but she did not respond before publication.
Soon after the Liberal leadership spill in September, she confirmed she would not be getting into politics herself.
“I want to move on with my life and do something where I get my own voice,” she said at The Australian Women’s Weekly’s Women of the Future Awards in 2015.
Ms Credlin served under four Cabinet ministers, three Opposition leaders and one prime minister in her career in federal politics – a comprehensive knowledge base to draw on to comment on both sides of the election.
Towards the end of her tenure she became the target of attacks from within the Liberal Party, with some believing she was a divisive force in the inner sanctum. A political source told The Daily Telegraph the Sky News appointment could be problematic for her adversaries.
“She’s smart and has a long memory,” the unnamed Liberal said.
“I bet those within the Coalition who have tried to make her the scapegoat for Abbott’s removal will be regretting the ferocity of their attacks.
“She doesn’t suffer fools lightly.”
Credlin followed by ‘malicious’ personal attacks
Despite being out of politics since September, Ms Credlin had not avoided being thrust into news coverage.
A book released by News Corp journalist Niki Savva in early March aired rumours of an affair between the ex-staffer and Mr Abbott, with one MP reportedly warning the former PM of its impact as recently as the first leadership vote in February 2015.
Ms Credlin labelled the rumours “vicious and malicious” and criticised Ms Savva for failing to contact her before publishing the book.
“The idea that my relationship with the prime minister was anything other than professional is completely false,” Ms Credlin told The Australian.
“I can’t be any clearer – it’s about as low as it gets.”
Ms Savva said she didn’t contact the pair as she had “learnt from bitter experience … that their version of events could not always be trusted”.
Mr Abbott referred to his government’s record in a statement in response to the claims and did not address them directly.
“I’m not in the business of raking over old coals nor am I in the business of responding to scurrilous gossip and smear,” Mr Abbott said.
Ms Credlin confirmed to The New Daily recently she was not planning to work in politics anytime soon and was enjoying time out of the arena.