WATCH: Leigh Sales Grilled Tones On Whether He's Gunning To Be PM Again
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Everyone's favourite bloke Tony Abbott loves to stir up a bit of trouble. Despite his now famous dictum that he wouldn't snipe, undermine or background from his position as a backbencher, he certainly likes to put his hot takes forward – especially when they're contrary to Malcolm Turnbull's official position.
He popped up on ABC 7.30 last night – rarely a particularly magnanimous platform for him, if we're honest – and copped a grilling from Leigh Sales on two core issues: whether he's keen to claw back the Liberal leadership, and this bloody shotgun dealio.
Sales asked him whether he'd be keen to step into the leadership again if there happened be a opening, and Abbott refused to play ball. It was about "what the partyroom wants," Abbott said, not what he wants. He does really want it, though. Look at the bloke's face. He's STINGING.
The shotgun issue comes from a huge ballyhoo over whether the Government was planning to loosen restrictions on shotgun imports – specifically the Adler lever-action shotgun – in exchange for gun-lovin' Senator David Leyonhjelm's support for key legislation. Abbott had shot off a bit of a cheeky tweet during the brouhaha:
Disturbing to see reports of horse-trading on gun laws. ABCC should be supported on its merits.— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) October 18, 2016
Sales pulled him up on the fact that though he talks big now, leaked documents yesterday suggest that Abbott – or at least members of his government – were more than willing to horse trade on the Adler shotgun when they needed it.
Apart from the apparent hypocrisy, Sales also wondered why his tweeting fingers were so loose – especially when people will immediately interpret it as a deliberate act of undermining. “How does tweeting disapproving comments about Government negotiations help your own side? Does you weighing in help your own side get clean air?” she asked.
“You must realise that because of who you are, when you put out a tweet like that it is viewed in a particular way?”