Tony Abbott: Malcolm Turnbull Is 'Running On The Abbott Government's Record'

21/03/2016 10:44 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott responds during a question and answer session after delivering a lecture at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)

In a move that is likely to raise speculation about his leadership ambitions, Tony Abbott has said that little has changed under Turnbull's Government.

In an interview with Sky News on Monday night, the former PM claimed it is easy to campaign for Turnbull in the election because the current Prime Minister is "running on the Abbott government's record".

The former Prime Minister also called Turnbull's move on Monday "intelligent brinkmanship" and claimed a construction corruption watchdog was legislation the Abbott government "fought very hard for".

"Fundamentally, the Turnbull government is seeking election on the term of the Abbott government and that makes me a very enthusiastic supporter," Abbott told Paul Murray, arguing the coalition seeks to create more jobs.

"If it does come to an election on [the ABCC] bill, it will be a government that is in favour of jobs and clean workplaces," Abbott said.

Abbott claimed free trade agreements and stopping the boats are accomplishments the government will take to the election.

He also suggested that Senate reform was on his agenda before he was ousted as the party's leader.

"It was one of the matters that I was certainly intending to pursue, more or less, as the last item of business for the current parliament and that's pretty much how it's turned out."

However, the former Prime Minister said the Safe Schools Coalition Program was about "social engineering", not "anti-bullying".

"I think we should save ourselves the money and scrap the program," Abbott said.

The comments could be destabilising for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who only hours earlier had sought to assure ABC reporter Leigh Sales and the Australian public that there have been and will continue to be "reforms across the board" under his leadership.

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