John Howard Warns Liberals Against 'Slitting Their Throats'

The election result 'isn't the end of the world'.

05/07/2016 12:40 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
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Former Prime Minister John Howard says his Liberal colleagues should not be "slitting their throats" over the election result.

Former Prime Minster John Howard has urged his former colleagues not to start "slitting their throats" over the confusing election result.

Howard -- who was Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007 -- told the ABC the result "isn't the end of the world".

"This hasn't been an outcome that we wanted, but it's not the end of the world and people shouldn't start slitting their throats," he said on Tuesday.

"Certainly not Liberals. And they should remember the character of their party."

The former PM also played down comment Malcolm Turnbull could face a near-term leadership challenge.

"I haven't heard any suggestion of that being talked about and I would be very surprised if it were," Howard told the ABC.

Conservative SA Senator Cory Bernardi on Monday called for a debate over Turnbull's leadership, a move that has seen Turnbull supporters take up the fight on Tuesday.

Attorney General George Brandis has warned his colleagues against a culture of infighting, while education Minister Simon Birmingham told the ABC he had absolute confidence in Turnbull.

Counting has resumed since Saturday's unclear election result, with both Turnbull and Labor Leader Bill Shorten out and about and making their cases to the public.

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