Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has finally commented on his future in politics.
On Tuesday Mr Abbott agreed to be interviewed by Macquarie Radio.
He told broadcaster Ray Hadley from Sydney radio station 2GB he is “not rushing to make a decision, I think I’m a reasonably vigorous 57”.
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“These days a 57 year old is not old, you’ve got a good 20 years of pretty active life ahead of you I reckon at 57 if you’ve looked after yourself”.
He added “so look I’m too young to retire, I’ve still got something to contribute to public life”.
Mr Abbott confirmed we would not see a by election in his New South Wales seat of Warringah any time soon.
But he also said he is “not going to make any final decisions this side of Christmas”.
The ex leader was asked if he accepted that had he dumped Joe Hockey as Treasurer and replaced him with Scott Morrison and perhaps farewelled Chief of Staff Peta Credlin any time in the last couple of months he would still have the top job.
Without hesitating he replied that “this is a real myth, the idea that people who were hungry for advancement would somehow be mollified if Joe went or if my Chief of Staff went is just nonsense”.
Speaking about his former Chief of Staff he said “no one worked longer and harder for our success in Opposition and in Government than she did and no one’s perfect”.
“And I suppose occasionally she may have spoken brusquely to one or two people who wanted more respect but the job of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff is to be strong, it’s to be tough, it’s to be focussed and look, she did an absolutely marvellous job”.
The former PM also took the opportunity to pay tribute to dedicated wife Margie saying she “has been an adornment to public life”.
“She did everything that was asked of her with grace and dignity and look Margie’s never been a political partisan, she’s not an Abbott spouse if you like, but nevertheless she was a very supportive spouse through all the ups and downs of my public life”.
Newspolls reveal that Mr Abbott was the preferred Prime Minister over Labor’s Bill Shorten in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia before the spill.
But the Coalition stood to lose 38 of its 90 lower house seats under his leadership.