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Tony Abbott ‘thinking about PM bid’

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Getty

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott hopes to have a crack at the top job again, according to Liberal sources.

Mr Abbott is expected to run for the seat of Warringah at this year’s federal election, and unnamed Liberal sources told The Daily Telegraph that ­former chief-of-staff Peta Credlin had been pushing him to think about the Prime Minister role again.

Mr Abbott did not respond to the matter when contacted by the newspaper.

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“He appears from what people are saying to be quite bitter, quite resentful, in fact I think it’s got worse,” a Liberal powerbroker reportedly told The Daily Telegraph.

Another Liberal source is believed to have said: “It’s very hard to find a (private sector) job for a former PM so young.”

Mr Abbott’s seat of Warringah will be hotly contested at the 2016 federal election, when a member of the newly formed Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) will run for the role.

Marie Rowland, a professional counsellor who has lived in the Sydney division for 15 years, will represent NXT.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten dubbed Mr Abbott the “Terminator” following reports he intended to contest the next election.

“I don’t know about you, but like many Australians (I) share the relief that Tony Abbott’s gone although I notice today that a bit like the Terminator, he’s vowing to have Tony Abbott 2.0, he will be back,” Mr Shorten told ABC radio in Cairns on Wednesday.

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning, Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg was questioned whether Mr Abbott should return to the ministry.

“This issue is well below my pay grade,” Mr Frydenberg said laughing.

“I think the Prime Minster has made it very clear that Tony Abbott won’t be coming back to the Cabinet any time soon.”

Meanwhile, senior Liberal figures have criticised Bronwyn Bishop for choosing to stand for re-election.

In December, the former Speaker announced she would re-contest the seat of Mackellar, which she has held since 1994, despite the expenses scandal, dubbed “choppergate”, that forced her to resign.

Mr Abbott was replaced as Prime Minister by Malcolm Turnbull in a vote for the Liberal leadership in September 2015.

– with AAP

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