Embattled Australia PM Abbott vows to consult more after Prince Philip furore

  • World
  • Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015

Britain's Prince Philip smiles during a visit to the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London in this November 7, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday he would take criticism of his decision to grant Britain's Prince Philip a knighthood "on the chin", promising greater consultation as speculation about his future as leader mounted.

Abbott, an avowed monarchist who was born in England, bestowed Australia's highest honour on Queen Elizabeth's husband earlier this week, provoking widespread criticism, including some from within his party. [ID:nL4N0V51E4]

"In the end this is my call and I'm happy to take these things on the chin," Abbott told reporters in Melbourne. "Obviously there are some lessons in these things and the lesson that I learn is that there does need to be wider consultation about these sorts of awards in the future."

Australian-born media baron Rupert Murdoch, a staunch supporter of Abbott and his conservative Liberal-National government, waded into the furore, saying the prime minister's powerful chief of staff should quit.

"Abbott again. Tough to write, but if he won't replace top aide Peta Credlin she must do her patriotic duty and resign," Murdoch said on his Twitter feed. "Forget fairness. This change only way to recover team work and achieve so much possible for Australia. Leading involves cruel choices."

Credlin has been a lightening rod for much of the criticism of the Abbott leadership after a series of perceived missteps and a souring economy that have seen his popularity plummet in recent months.

"Based on chats with Libs this AM, for the 1st time (& I can't believe I'm saying this) I now don't think PM can make it to the next election," Peter van Onselen, political commentator and contributing editor at Murdoch's The Australian newspaper said on Twitter.

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the former British colony's honours system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment. At the time he said they were intended to recognise "pre-eminent Australians".

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

NATO not ready for equal dialogue with Moscow - Russian defence chief
Slain Kenyan Olympian Agnes Tirop buried in her home village
Austrian government proposes law to legalise assisted suicide
Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Congo
Turkey's Erdogan orders 10 ambassadors declared 'persona non grata'
Russia puts man who leaked prison torture videos on wanted list
Spain vows to speed up aid to volcano-hit La Palma
Budapest hosts rival political rallies as Hungary's 2022 election race heats up
As Russia's COVID-19 toll surges, a Siberian hospital struggles to cope
Italy's Salvini ridicules calling of actor Gere to kidnapping trial

Others Also Read