Tony Abbott Defends Leadership, Says Government Is Performing Because He's A 'Good Captain'

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has backed himself in the country’s top job.

Abbott said his government was performing well and that “one of the reasons” that ministers were delivering was “because they’ve got a good captain.”

When asked if he would lead this team to the next election, the PM said, “Absolutely”.

There has been intense speculation that Abbott’s leadership could be under imminent threat. However, a story in the AFR today says MPs are giving him six months.

Abbott has suffered intense criticism in recent weeks, including backlash from within his own political party regarding his decision to award Prince Phillip a knighthood.

Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles said he “thought it was April Fool’s Day” and the knighthood was “a bit of a joke”. Federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch was quoted in The Australian saying: “I don’t think it was a smart call and I am not going to pretend to endorse it”.

However, Abbott still has supporters within his camp, such as agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce who yesterday told the ABC he would bet “his house” that at the next election people won’t be discussing the PM’s leadership or Australia Day decision.

There are other things that are happening, there are other jobs that need to be done,” he said. “People want to concentrate on the big issue and not sweat the small stuff.”

News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch took a swipe at Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin earlier this week, calling for her resignation.

Abbott is no stranger to disfavour and was pleased when, in December, Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko said he was one of the most popular foreign leaders in the country.

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