Malcolm Turnbull avoids using Tony Abbott's name in interview amid internal tension

Malcolm Turnbull avoids using Tony Abbott's name in interview amid internal tension

Ignoring colleagues who want him to ease off with the very public free advice on governing and others who want the Liberal Party to stop talking about itself, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come out in his local Sydney newspaper on Wednesday and declared he will "not be silenced".

"I think what Tony needs to do is just simply be more of a team player, as we were with Tony when he was prime minister".

"I'll be quite frank, we've had a lot more success with this one, and more power to the hand of people such as (Finance Minister) Mathias Cormann and negotiations he's been doing in the Senate", Mr Joyce said.

"If you listen to some senior members of the government, because of the reality - the unfortunate reality - of the Senate, we have had to bring forward a budget which is second-best".

"And the fact that the prime minister has the capacity to negotiate things through the Senate - that's why we are getting delivery".

Asked if the timing of Mr Abbott's recent remarks, in the lead-up to the first anniversary of an elected Turnbull government, was deliberate the industry minister couldn't say.

Mr Abbott said he made a "judgement" call to stand up for the conservative Liberals, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The admission comes after Mr Abbott was slammed by South Australian senator Nick Xenophon.

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"I've had a gutful of this infighting in the Liberal Party".

The deposed former PM told the gathering of conservative Liberals he was speaking out because "we've got to just move the direction a little bit".

"If we can't because of the Senate entirely change the direction, at least don't lose the sense of what the bloody direction should be, for god's sake".

"Or is it Bill Shorten, the alternative prime minister?"

Mr Abbott told a Liberal Party branch meeting that whatever misgivings he might he have, there is a time to swallow them and ensure the Coalition is re-elected.

"He is definitely on the war path", the source said.

Mr Abbott acknowledged that "at the moment, I'm not always the person that every Liberal wants to associate with", but thanked his friend Mr Sukkar as someone who "knows who his friends are" and "someone you can rely on".

Treasurer Scott Morrison was also more upfront in his dismissal of Mr Abbott's comments yesterday, labelling them nothing but "background noise". "I don't think there was anything that was a particularly tough critique".

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