Ousted prime minister Tony Abbott has accepted Malcolm Turnbull as the country’s new leader.
In his final statement as prime minister Abbott thanked the Australian people for the honour of serving as the leader of the country and promised he would not act against the new leader.
“This is not an easy day for many people in this building,” he said.
“My pledge today is to make this change as easy as I can… there will be no wrecking, no undermining, no sniping.
“I’ve held true to what I believe and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.”
He said that Australia had a role to play in the struggles of the wider world, and while he had a lot more he wanted to achieve, he was proud of what his government accomplished.
“We stayed focused despite the white-anting,” he said.
“The nature of politics has changed in the past decade. We have more polls and more commentary than ever before. Mostly sour, bitter, character assassination. Poll-driven panic has produced a revolving door prime ministership which can’t be good for our country.
“I refuse to connive and dishonour by acting as the assassin’s knife.
“I thank Margie for her grace and dignity throughout my public life … especially my chief of staff (Peta Credlin), who has been unfairly maligned by people who should know better. “
He finished: “I thank my country for the privilege of service. It is humbling to lose, but that does not compare to the honour of being asked to lead.”
Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th prime minister shortly after.
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