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Malcolm Turnbull distances himself from talk of Tony Abbott returning to cabinet

Malcolm Turnbull has distanced himself from suggestions Tony Abbott could ever be welcomed back onto the front bench.

But Neil Mitchell says you can all but rule it out.

The Prime Minister joined 3AW Mornings on Friday for his first studio interview of 2016.

Mr Abbott recently confirmed he would be staying in politics, with Neil Mitchell asking Mr Turnbull what he thought of his predecessor’s chances or returning to cabinet on the back of calls from some Liberal colleagues.

‘I don’t want to make a running commentary on Tony Abbott, but what I will say is that it’s very important in government, as it is in business, to ensure there’s renewal,’ Mr Turnbull said on 3AW Mornings.

Click PLAY below to watch Malcolm Turnbull’s response on 3AW

Neil Mitchell: ‘We spoke about not playing games before. Do you want him back, or not?’

Malcolm Turnbull: ‘I’m not going to answer a specific question about Tony Abbott, or anyone else.’

But Neil Mitchell was left in no doubt as to what that meant.

‘Tony Abbott will not be back,’ he said.

‘Tony Abbott will not be back into the cabinet under Malcolm Turnbull.

‘He didn’t say that. But read between the lines.’

The Prime Minister also;

  • Said the federal election would be likely held in August, September or October.
  • Addressed concerns the Australian Of The Year award had become ‘too political.’
  • Said he’d ‘absolutely’ follow the ‘will’ of the people in a gay marriage plebiscite. 

Click PLAY below to hear Malcolm Turnbull’s full interview with Neil Mitchell.