Senior Liberal Ministers Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull have rejected calls from the backbenchers to challenge Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his leadership, saying that they’re loyal to the PM and that his recent political demise could be still be saved, if he is given the chance.
Bishop reportedly told backbenchers that this solution may come in the form of a “compelling narrative” during a speech by the Prime Minister at the National Press Club on Monday.
If he wants the speech to be a success Abbott will have to force people’s attention to the future by revealing his government’s economic framework, plans for the year ahead and what he wants to achieve beyond his three pre-election promises of stopping the boats, repealing the carbon and mining taxes.
Abbott’s decision to knight Prince Phillip on Australia Day caused a major rift in the Liberal Party, but despite the faux pas noone has come forward to challenges his leadership.
One Liberal MP told The Age that despite being unhappy with the knighthood, the party wouldn’t not resort to tactics employed by the former Labor government: “We are not Labor and we don’t like bloodshed. But there’s a real problem and it needs to be addressed.”
Along with the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Communications Minister, Fairfax Media reports that a number of other high profile ministers including Treasurer Joe Hockey, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Social Services Minister Scott Morrison have been rallying support for the Prime Minister.
On Friday, Abbott defended his leadership saying the party was performing well and that “one of the reasons” that ministers were delivering was “because they’ve got a good captain.”
Adding to his defence, when asked if he would lead this team to the next election, the PM said, “absolutely”.
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