NA­TION Ab­bott faces ‘ move on’ call

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RE­NEE VIELLARIS

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.

GOV­ERN­MENT FIRST: Capri­cor­nia MP Michelle Landry; ( be­low) Tony Ab­bott.

MORT­GAGE BUSTER: Aaron and Daniella Win­ter are the House Rules win­ners. Pic­tures: JERAD WIL­LIAMS, CHAN­NEL 7

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