Malcolm Turnbull has lashed out against the 'miserable, miserable ghosts' of past prime ministers

Lucy and Malcolm Turnbull, somewhere far from Australia. Picture: Getty Images

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Liberal leadership spill was “crazy” and Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott were “miserable, miserable ghosts”.

“Move on,” he said at a Reuters event in New York, where he and his wife Lucy have stayed since Turnbull lost the leadership to Scott Morrison.

Turnbull said Rudd and Abbott – who promised there would be “no wrecking, no undermining, no sniping” after he lost his own position as PM – should have left Parliament immediately after they lost their top jobs.

“There is no way I would be hanging around like Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott,” he said, although he added that he would still comment on national issues such as “energy and constitutional matters”.

“I’m not going to become a Trappist monk — but my days of being involved in partisan politics are over.

“Seriously, these people are like, sort of miserable, miserable ghosts.”

Turbull said he wished Morrison well as Prime Minister, but claimed “private polling” had shown the Coalition was tracking ahead of the Labor Party in marginal seats.

“We were very, very competitive,” he said.

“But for reasons that they’ve not been able to explain, you know, there was an element of the party and of the media that wanted to blow the government up, and they did.”

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