Tony Abbott denies he said he could be PM again

Tony Abbott. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has claimed London-based Fairfax Media journalist Latika Bourke is “making things up” in a report that he told right-wing allies in the UK that he thinks he has a “good chance” of returning as PM.

While the Coalition backbencher did not respond to Bourke when asked about the claim before publication, he used Twitter to subsequently deny it, saying: “As for unsourced, unattributed, unprofessional reports, the journalist in question is yet again making things up.”

Bourke returned fire on the micro-blogging site, saying: “Abbott responds after refusing to deny earlier. And of course I absolutely stand by my story and sources.”

Abbott was ousted in a party room coup by current prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015.

The move was seen as a means to put the party in an election-winning position.

According to the latest Newspoll, Labor is leading the polls on a two-party preferred basis, four percentage points over the Coalition.

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