Abbott confident he'll lead party for another five years

Tony Abbott at the National Press Club on February 2, 2015.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he intends to lead his party for another five years as speculation over a potential spill continues.

Mr Abbott had intended to speak on the axing of the carbon tax when appearing in Melbourne, but leadership speculation dominated the questions.

He told media he refused to “play the usual Canberra insider games” when asked about potential for a spill at Tuesday’s party room meeting, instead emphasising his strong relationships with the likes of his deputy Julie Bishop.

“Julie and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time now,” he said.

“We support each other. I have a good team. We are friends, we trust each other, we work together.

“We’ve done it for five years and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing for five years to come.”

Mr Abbott was also asked about a reported meeting with former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, saying that he meets with colleagues “all the time”.

“We are going to get on with government next week,” he said.

“I’m certainly expecting that we will have a strong and constructive party room meeting next Tuesday.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also weighed in on the leadership speculation, saying that Malcolm Turnbull was “seriously doing the numbers”.

“Malcolm Turnbull may have a nicer suit than Tony Abbott ... but they're cut from the same cloth,” he said.

Mr Shorten was asked if he would make a better Prime Minister than Mr Turnbull, but he replied that Mr Abbott was Prime Minister at the moment.

Source SBS

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