STILL TALKING: Former prime minister Tony Abbott at a press conference at Parliament House, Canberra, last month.
STILL TALKING: Former prime minister Tony Abbott at a press conference at Parliament House, Canberra, last month. MICK TSIKAS

Abbott defends 'right' to criticise sitting PM

DESPITE calls from some of his Coalition colleagues to keep quiet or quit, former prime minister Tony Abbott has said he'll continue voicing his critical opinion whenever he likes.

Appearing on Jones and Co on Sky News on Tuesday night, Mr Abbott told host Alan Jones it was his "absolute right” to speak out.

There has been continuing backlash to Mr Abbott's running commentary on Malcolm Turnbull, government policy and consistent polling that shows an electoral defeat is likely.

His increasingly vocal opinions have caused many to speculate the man knifed by Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015 wants his old job back.

"The important thing is that I do the best I can for the people of Warringah, and as a former prime minister from time to time of course I should say my piece on local and international issues of significance,” he said.

"I have an absolute right and sometimes a duty to speak out ... that's what I intend to do.”

Earlier in the day, Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch called on the dumped leader to resign if he was so unhappy.

But Mr Abbott rejected the suggestion he was white-anting the government or prime minister and said his public suggestions for how to reverse the Coalition's fortunes were helpful.

He laughed off repeated calls from Mr Jones to return to the leadership.

"Some say go, some say stay,” the former PM said.



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