A highly-anticipated book about former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin gives a window into the "peculiar dynamic" between the pair and argues they shunned the "tried and tested" rules of politics.
Veteran political reporter Laurie Oakes has used his NewsCorp Australia column on Saturday to preview Niki Savva's much-awaited The Road To Ruin about the downfall of the Abbott government.
Column: New book charts Tony Abbott’s odd bond with Peta Credlin and how it ended his reign as Prime Minister https://t.co/zZp1hXhG2Z— LaurieOakes (@LaurieOakes) March 4, 2016
Oakes said the book by Savva, who is a political journalist, details how Credlin thought she could not stand aside as the former PM's chief of staff because Abbott couldn't do his job without her.
"She revealed this to a Liberal MP after the leadership spill motion that marked the beginning of the end for Abbott," said Oaks, describing the revelations contained in the insider account.
"The book quotes, with approval of the view of a senior government adviser, that 'he knew he wasn't up to it, she knew he wasn't up to it, so they both hunkered down'."
The book reportedly also explores the odd dynamic between Credlin and Abbott that in Canberra "set gossipy tongues wagging".
Oakes said The Road To Ruin included a number of anecdotes about the pair's time in the national capital.
"An example is the story of the Liberal MP who, with a staffer, was invited one night to dine with Abbott and Credlin at an Italian restaurant in Melbourne," Oakes said.
"As Savva tells it, they watched, dismayed, as Credlin used her fork to feed the then PM mouthfuls of food from her plate. Afterwards, as the meal was ending, 'she put her head on his shoulder to complain about being tired'."
Savva's book is said to deal with the wide-ranging problems and mistakes that beset the Abbott government and is especially damning of the 2014 budget.
"They ignored all the tried and tested rules of politics,” Oakes quotes Savva's book as saying.
It also reportedly describes "in colourful detail" how Malcolm Turnbull planned and carried out his leadership coup on Abbott.