Calls for Tony Abbott comeback

Two government senators have publicly called for Tony Abbott to be returned to Malcolm Turnbull’s now short-staffed frontbench.

Vacancies were created by the resignations of Mal Brough and Jamie Briggs on Tuesday, potentially clearing the way for Mr Abbott to be given a ministry.

Senator Eric Abetz, who lost his own ministry in the Turnbull coup, said the ex-PM should be restored to Cabinet in order to foster unity in the party.

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“I hope that he stays in the Parliament and I hope that there will be a place for him, a prominent place for him in a future ministry, should he decide to stay,” the Senator told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“Just as much as when other leaders have been deposed they have been rehabilitated into cabinet or shadow cabinet and I think that is important for the unity of the party, if that is at all possible.”


Scandal claims Mr Brough and Mr Briggs. Could this be Mr Abbott’s redemption? Photo: Getty

Mr Briggs resigned on Tuesday after a female public servant complained of his behaviour in a bar in Hong Kong earlier in the year.

Mr Brough stood down from his ministerial duties pending a police investigation into his role in the Peter Slipper affair.

Nationals Senator John Williams echoed the call for an Abbott comeback.

“I think if Tony Abbott were to go back in the cabinet, that would be a good way to heal the wounds of the past,” Senator Williams told ABC Radio National.

Prime Minister Turnbull is expected to reshuffle his ministry in the new year, with the possibility of a third resignation, Nationals leader Warren Truss.

Mr Abbott, currently a backbencher, has said he will decide whether to stay in Parliament or quit by April 2016 when the pre-selection process will begin in his Sydney seat of Warringah.

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