Question Time
Question Time

Barnaby slams ‘angry’ ex-PM for unleashing on old colleagues

Malcolm Turnbull calls bitter political rival Tony Abbott "a very dangerous prime minister" in his memoir which unleashes on some of the most senior members of the Morrison government.

The former Liberal prime minister on Monday took to social media to reveal the chapter titles of his autobiography, released next week, as Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce warned Mr Turnbull he risks ruining his legacy by throwing mud at his former colleagues.

Mr Turnbull resurrects his decade-long feud with Mr Abbott in the 700-page book, in which it is clear there are still hard feelings.

Tony Abbott, then-prime minister, listens to Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time. Picture: Gary Ramage
Tony Abbott, then-prime minister, listens to Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time. Picture: Gary Ramage

Mr Abbott is at the heart of at least five chapters including "Tony and Peta", referring to Mr Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin, and "It was all a bit of a shock: leader again", referencing the internal party coup he led to oust Mr Abbott to become PM in 2015.

Mr Turnbull threatens to lay bare every controversy of his lengthy political career, including Mr Joyce and his affair with press secretary Vikki Campion, in a chapter entitled "Barnaby and the bonk ban".

Mr Joyce last night told The Daily Telegraph Mr Turnbull was still too angry about being removed as prime minister to make "considered observations".

"It is not so much how you rode the horse of power but how you got off it that people remember," Mr Joyce said. "Some dismount gracefully and walk to the rail, others resentfully keep one foot in the stirrup and get dragged around the yard."

Mr Turnbull when he was federal communications minister and Mr Abbott looking on as prime minister in August 2015. Picture: AAP
Mr Turnbull when he was federal communications minister and Mr Abbott looking on as prime minister in August 2015. Picture: AAP

The book, called A Bigger Picture, gives Mr Turnbull another chance to air his grievances about the coup that "brutally" ended his prime ministership in 2018. He names and shames the "plotters" who took him down. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann bears the brunt of his anger.

"Cormann's treachery was the worst and most hurtful. He'd become a trusted friend of mine," he writes. "I'd (ignored) constant warnings that he was an untrustworthy, Machiavellian schemer."

Mr Turnbull, a former journalist, also takes aim at ex-Labor PM Kevin Rudd and US President Donald Trump.

The book's release date was pushed back to allow Mr Turnbull to rewrite the final chapters following Scott Morrison's shock election victory.

Mr Abbott did not respond to requests for comment.

 

 

 

Originally published as Barnaby slams 'angry' ex-PM for unleashing on old colleagues


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