Abbott issues blunt rebuke to Cormann

Tony Abbott told Finance Minister Mathias Cormann he'd continue to speak out against the government. (AAP)

Tony Abbott told Finance Minister Mathias Cormann he'd continue to speak out during a "blunt" conversation they had about his criticism of the government.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott had a blunt "man-to-man" talk with Mathias Cormann after the finance minister publicly attacked him for lashing out at the Turnbull government.

Mr Abbott earned a stern rebuke from Senator Cormann in February over his scathing critique of the coalition government's direction, but Mr Abbott didn't take it lying down.

"Mathias and I had a man-to-man talk you might say about that particular outburst of his," Mr Abbott told 2GB's Ray Hadley on Monday.

"We had a very blunt conversation about it. If you don't like what someone is doing, rather than speak out publicly at least in the first instance you should have a man-to-man discussion."

Mr Abbott said while he believed Senator Cormann was doing a good job, he had reminded him that as a former prime minister it was his prerogative to speak out on national and international issues "where I think it's for the good of the country and for the good of the party".

The stoush between the two Liberal heavyweights was sparked in February when Mr Abbott used a TV interview to accuse the coalition of becoming "Labor-lite", saying politics should not be "just a contest of toxic egos or someone's vanity project".

Senator Cormann, a former staunch supporter of Mr Abbott as prime minister until he was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in 2015, publicly blasted the now backbencher for providing "more and more destructive commentary".

"He is not helping our cause, he is not helping our country, he is not helping himself," Senator Cormann said.

Source AAP

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