Ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull unloads at coup leaders for ‘blowing up the government’ 

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has used his first media appearance since losing the Liberal party leadership to take aim at those who deposed him.

Mr Turnbull appeared on a special episode of Q&A on Wednesday night, where he answered questions from ABC journalist Tony Jones and members of the public. 

In the program’s opening minutes the former PM named the coup leaders as Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and former prime minister Tony Abbott, adding that he ‘never thought they would act so self-destructively’.

Mr Turnbull appeared on a special episode of Q&A on Wednesday night, where he answered questions from ABC journalist Tony Jones and members of the public

Mr Turnbull appeared on a special episode of Q&A on Wednesday night, where he answered questions from ABC journalist Tony Jones and members of the public

Mr Turnbull appeared on a special episode of Q&A on Wednesday night, where he answered questions from ABC journalist Tony Jones and members of the public

Since his ousting, the former PM and his wife have been residing in New York and only returned to Sydney in October following the Wentworth by-election.

From the get go, Mr Turnbull is asked to explain what led up to the bitter factional fighting with his Liberal colleagues that led to him being ousted.

One audience member, called Millie, asked the former PM whether he thinks he could have done anything differently – given the benefit of hindsight?

Mr Turnbull said one of the most important things as leader is to keep the party together. But if you’ve got ministers against you it is a problem.

Mr Jones then asked him if he was shocked by the sudden ousting. 

‘No, I did not anticipate that people would act – particularly cabinet ministers – would act so self-destructively,’ Mr Turnbull replied. 

He said it really never occurred to him that senior members of the government – particularly people with such solemn responsibilities could do such a thing.  

‘It never occurred to me that those people would act in a way that was going to be so damaging both to the government, to the party and, frankly, to the nation. 

‘I mean, stability is very important. And disturbing that stability should only be done with a very clear justification and a very clear purpose. And even then, it carries risks.’

More to come.  

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