Abbott to sit on backbench for first time in two decades

TONY Abbott will take his new seat on the backbench when parliament sits today.

The former prime minister has not been seen in the House of Representative chamber since he was toppled from the Liberal leadership by Malcolm Turnbull four weeks ago.

Unlike Labor’s Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, who both fronted up to the House hours after being turfed out of the prime minister’s office, Mr Abbott has so far avoided the humbling experience of moving abruptly from parliament’s despatch box to the back bench.


Mr Abbott has said he won’t be making a decision about his political career until after Christmas.

Senior Liberal Andrew Robb doesn’t think Mr Abbott staying in parliament is a problem for the party at this stage.

He said Mr Abbott made a very clear statement after he lost the leadership that he would not be a source of destabilisation in the rundown to the next election.