DEAL MAKERS: Tony Abbott (right) talks to Scott Morrison while Malcolm Turnbull watches (file picture).
DEAL MAKERS: Tony Abbott (right) talks to Scott Morrison while Malcolm Turnbull watches (file picture). LUKAS COCHAAP

Abbott offered Treasury to Morrison before spill

SENIOR Liberal frontbencher Scott Morrison has revealed Tony Abbott offered him the deputy leadership and Joe Hockey's job in the lead-up to Monday night's spill.

Mr Abbott this week moved to the backbench and promised no recriminations against his successor Malcolm Turnbull after his defeat in the party room.

As coalition MPs vied for Mr Turnbull's favour ahead of a likely Cabinet reshuffle this weekend, Mr Morrison gave 2GB's Ray Hadley fresh details of the political machinations.

He said Mr Abbott had wanted him to "throw Joe Hockey under a bus".

"The only person who offered me the job of Treasurer before the ballot on Monday was Tony Abbott," he said.

"He offered me the job of Treasurer hours out from that ballot. He'd never done that before. He'd never had a discussion with me before about being his deputy."

Mr Morrison said he could not understand, if he had accepted the deal, how they would explain "why he thought Joe Hockey was the best man to be Treasurer the day before and then I was the best man for Treasurer the day after".

But he said the Friday before the spill, he had warned Mr Abbott's office that "I thought things were pretty febrile and they should be on high alert".

While Mr Abbott has not commented publicly, some Liberals have quietly expressed their concerns Mr Morrison did not try to rally others to vote for Mr Abbott.

Mr Morrison, who voted for Mr Abbott in the spill, told Hadley he had "no role in (Mr Abbott's) demise".

He said his colleagues were "their own people; they make their own decisions".

While Mr Morrison has said he would serve any prime minister under any capacity they chose for him, some commentators have speculated Mr Turnbull may appoint him as Treasurer to replace Mr Hockey.

Mr Turnbull has refused to detail who will be chosen for his Cabinet, ahead of an announcement he said was likely this weekend.



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