Abbott Didn’t Report Alleged Assault ‘Til Police Called About On-Air Claims

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Tasmanian Police have confirmed they’re investigating yesterday’s alleged assault of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott by a ‘Yes’ campaigner.

However, police say that Abbott only filed an official complaint when they contacted him – after seeing media coverage regarding the alleged headbutt.

In a statement posted to social media yesterday evening, Tasmania Police said they “contacted the alleged victim after becoming aware of the claims and the man has tonight made a formal complaint.”

Authorities have also urged any witnesses to come forward for questioning over the alleged incident.

Abbott reportedly notified the Australian Federal Police about the incident beforehand.

Abbott claims he was leaving the Hobart offices of The Mercury newspaper  around 4.35pm, when he was met by a man seeking a handshake.

“A fellow sung out at me – ‘Hey Tony.’ I turned around,” Abbott told radio station 2GB yesterday.

“There was a chap wearing a Vote Yes badge. He says, ‘I want to shake your hand.’ I went over to shake his hand, then he headbutted me.”

The incident apparently left Abbott with a slightly swollen lip.

Abbott’s claims has intensified debates about violence spurred by the marriage equality postal survey.

The incident also comes a week after the godson of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was allegedly bashed in a homophobic attack.

A man has been charged over that incident.