CANBERRA – A key backer of the new Prime Minister has encouraged ousted Prime Minister Tony Abbott to stay in politics.
Malcolm Turnbull’s new Cabinet Secretary, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, has told RN Breakfast that Abbott should stay in parliament if he feels he still has a contribution to make.
Abbott, who was overthrown by Turnbull just two and a half weeks ago, has repeatedly stated he is not likely to decide his future plans before Christmas.
Until then, he has moved to the backbench and has been given a small Parliament House office next door to the one occupied by former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop.
Sinodinos, the former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister John Howard, has offered the same advice Howard was given by his wife Janette in 1989 after a leadership coup and the same advice given to Turnbull in 2010 after he lost the Liberal leadership to Abbott.
“If you still have a contribution, feel you still got a contribution to make to politics, by all means do so,” Sinodinos said.
“Because, if you leave politics feeling that you haven’t fulfilled your potential, or anything you could have done, that is a worse feeling.
“That is the advice you always give to someone in that situation.”
Over the past fortnight, Abbott has been seen surfing, practicing with his rural firefighting unit and giving legacy interviews on radio.