As Tony Abbott starts a fresh week taking to radio to offer more free advice, the prime minister insists he intends to stay in the top job for “a very long time”.
“I know you may think that at 62 I am too old,” he told reporters in Sydney today.
“I can assure … I will be running at the 2019 election and will win.”
Earlier Abbott said he is playing a positive role, rejecting suggestions his interventions will damage his party’s prospects at the next election.
“I want us to be the best possible government,” he told 2GB radio’s Alan Jones.
The former prime minister said he was fighting on two fronts, the first of which was for “one member, one vote” reforms to Liberal Party pre-selection.
“And then there is a fight for the kind of policy which a Liberal-National government should be on about,” he said.
Cabinet minister Arthur Sinodinos concedes the Liberal party can’t control Abbott.
“If you’re the government you can only control what you control,” he told ABC radio.
Asked if Abbott’s timing, in the lead up to the first anniversary of an elected Turnbull government, was deliberate, the industry minister couldn’t say.
“You’d have to ask him whether it was deliberate or not,” he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce insists he is focusing on delivering for the Australian people, not the “soap opera” of personalities.
“If other people want to have other sort of peripheral discussions about basically fluff and mirrors well they can do it,” he said.
“But I’m not to be going down that path.”
Joyce said he wants to make sure Turnbull doesn’t lose the prime ministership and Australia has a steady ship.
On Sunday Turnbull used the July 2 anniversary to reveal he would walk away from politics if he lost the top job.
Asked if this was a threat, Sinodinos said Turnbull was simply being honest with the Australian people.
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