Abbott says he will stick around


Three days after Tony Abbott was knifed as prime minister by his party colleagues the combative hard-line conservative told reporters he intends staying in parliament.

Abbott hasn’t appeared in public since his bitter final press conference as prime minister on Monday, but his wife Margie was photographed Wednesday removing boxes from the prime minister’s official residence on Sydney harbour.

The ousted premier was considering his options, he told reporters Thursday.

“It’s been a tumultuous week and I now intend to spend some time with my family to think about the future, but my intention is to remain in the parliament,” Abbott told The Australian, which had been a strong supporter of his leadership.

Abbott had been scheduled to attend US President Barrack Obama’s security summit at the United Nations in New York at the end of next week, but it is not clear at this stage whether new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will attend or be represented by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Parliament closes for a three-week break after today and the government faces a crucial test on Saturday with a by-election in Western Australia.

Before Abbott was dumped as prime minister opinion polls showed the government was trailing by 10 per cent.

Snap polls taken since the moderate Turnbull took over on Monday show voter support for the government has shot up 4 per cent, and is level with the Labor opposition for the first time in 20 months.

Turnbull is expected to announce his new cabinet Sunday and several conservative supporters of Abbott are expected to lose their jobs.