Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott admits he has been bruised after being dumped as Liberal Leader by Malcolm Turnbull.
In his first radio interview since the leadership coup a fornight ago, Mr Abbott told Ray Hadley on Sydney radio 2GB how he was feeling about losing the top job.
“I always knew that politics was a pretty brutal business. It’s a game of snakes and ladders and yes I’ve hit a snake,” he said.
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“It’s a bruising business to lost the Prime Ministership but on the other hand it’s been a tremendous honour.
“I would rather focus on the privilege, the honour, of being PM of this great country for two years,” he said.
Mr Abbott admitted he did not pay as much attention to what may have been going on behind closed doors as he perhaps should have.
“Any leader who is watching his back is not focusing on the main job.
“If you’re watching your own back, by definition you’re going backwards.
“If the leader starts to play internal politics, by definition he’s in big trouble.”
Mr Abbott danced around question involving Minister Scott Morrisson, following an exchange of words in the media recently.
Mr Abbott admitted Mr Morrison had spoken to his chief of staff Peta Credlin three days before he was ousted in a party room ballot.
“He’s obviously put one construction on the conversation, my office put a different construction on the conversation,” he said, referring to Mr Morrison’s claim he warned Mr Abbott’s office of a “febrile” atmosphere amongst Liberal MPs.
“It’s probably a bit counterproductive to revisit all of this now.”
“The last thing I want Ray to come out of this interview is a headline `Abbott slams Morrison’,” he said.
Mr Abbott hoped his removal would put an end to the “revolving door prime ministership”.
“Government can’t do what is necessary for the long-term good of our country if you’re subject to death by polls,” he said.
“My hope is … that we get right away from this concept of changing the leader like you might change your clothes to suit the fashion,” he said.
When asked about what’s ahead in the future, Mr Abbott said he would not be making any final decision before Christmas.
But the 57-year-old said he was too young to retire, adding there wouldn’t be a by-election in his seat of Warringah any time soon.