Former defence minister Kevin Andrews has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to do the “magnanimous thing” and return Tony Abbott to the frontbench.
Mr Andrews said the party leadership and the frontbench should be a balance of liberals and conservatives and it would make sense to reappoint Mr Abbott.
“That would be the magnanimous thing to do and the practical thing to do in terms of making sure that this is the party of Menzies, the party of Howard, is the party that broadly represents both liberals and conservatives,” he told Sky News.
Mr Andrews, dumped as defence minister when Mr Turnbull became PM last year, said Mr Abbott had a lot of experience as a former prime minister and was seen as a figurehead of conservatives within the parliamentary party.
He said the government also needed to regain the trust of many voters who chose to vote for minor parties rather than the Coalition.
“We need to regain their trust and will only regain their trust in my view if we do show that we broadly represent that cross-section of views,” he said.