NATION Abbott faces ‘ move on’ call
A PUSH is on within the Coalition to urge Tony Abbott to leave Parliament and take a plum job as the High Commissioner to London as speculation mounts of a Cabinet reshuffle in September.
Queensland marginal seat holder Michelle Landry, who last year described the Turnbull Government’s performance as “wishy- washy”, has become the first Coalition MP to publicly urge Mr Abbott to take the highly coveted role.
Senior Government members question the political relationship between Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, with some describing it as “tense”.
Past supporters of Mr Abbott – especially those in marginal seats across the country – are encouraging the former prime minister to end his constant critiquing and put the Government first. It is an offence to offer an inducement to an MP, but it is understood Mr Abbott has been legally told he could have many jobs.
Ms Landry and others said they had heard Mr Abbott could replace Alexander Downer for the $ 300,000- a- year job in London.
Mr Abbott’s office declined to c o m m e n t y e s t e r d a y and Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce denied Mr Abbott had been offered the job to leave Parliament. “I was a big supporter of Tony Abbott and I was disappointed when he lost,” Capricornia MP Ms Landry said. “Malcolm is doing a good job and he should be able to do his job. It’s probably time for ( Mr Abbott) to move on. “There’s been talk about the job offer in London. “There’s life after politics. He’s got a lot of knowledge. He has a lot to offer.” Speculation has been rife about the High Commissioner job in London, with many predicting the gig could be given to At t o r n e y - General George Brandis, paving the way for Mr Turnbull to shuffle his frontbench. S e n a t o r Brandis has dismissed the w i d e l y - h e l d claims he could replace Mr Downer.