Former prime minister Tony Abbott has accused Treasurer Scott Morrison of “misleading” the public for claiming he warned his office about a possible leadership challenge.
Mr Morrison said last Friday he told Mr Abbott’s office ahead of the challenge by Malcolm Turnbull that “things were febrile” and they should be on high alert.
But Mr Abbott now claims he was never told by anyone, including Mr Morrison personally, about the risk.
‘Scott never warned anyone, certainly he never warned me,’ he told News Corp.
‘I spoke to him on Friday – not a hint of a warning, so I’m afraid Scott badly misled people.’
Mr Abbott also challenged Mr Morrison’s claim the former prime minister tried to throw Joe Hockey under a bus by offering him the treasurer’s job, in a bid to save his government.
‘Not true, not true,’ he said.
‘I was doing what I could to save the government.’
Mr Abbott said he believed Mr Hockey would be judged more kindly in the future than he was in the job as treasurer.
He added that the fact Mr Turnbull had kept all of the government’s policy settings showed it was on sound ground.
Mr Abbott confirmed he was not offered a ministerial position by Mr Turnbull.