Tony Abbott's one-time ally opens fire on the former PM
A ONE-time ally of Tony Abbott has accused him of risking government MPs' seats.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, once a backer of Mr Abbott, hit out on Thursday over the former PM's behaviour, saying Mr Abbott should ask himself who benefited from his "constant interventions".
"Is it party members, who want to see a continuation of the Liberal Government? The answer is no. Is it my parliamentary colleagues, who want to … retain their own seats and (for) the government (to) stay in office? The answer is no.
"Or is it Bill Shorten, the alternative prime minister? He's the one who's benefiting most, unfortunately."
Mr Frydenberg said that despite his "special status" within the Liberal Party, the former PM needed to "focus on Australians and delivering what (Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull has promised".
Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek dubbed Mr Abbott the "Lord Voldemort of the Liberal Party", referring to "he who must not be named" from the Harry Potter novels.
This followed an awkward interview in which the PM refused to say Mr Abbott's name, calling him "the gentleman".