Abbott speaks: 'You join the game, you accept the rules'

TONY Abbott has left the Prime Minister's Office with a parting shot at political commentators and their "sour, bitter, character assassination".

Mr Abbott, who was expected to head to Government House to resign the Prime Ministership this afternoon, did not confirm what time he would make the trip.

But, after months of speculation leading up to yesterday's leadership spill that installed Malcolm Turnbull in Mr Abbott's office, he promised there would be "no wrecking, no undermining, no sniping".

"I've never leaked or backgrounded against anyone. And I certainly won't start now," he said.

"Yes, this is a tough day, but when you join the game, you accept the rules."

He thanked his wife and children and apologised for being an 'absentee' spouse and father. 


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Mr Abbott also hit out at a political culture that had created a "revolving door prime ministership which can't be good for our country", and a "febrile media culture" that "rewards treachery".

He urged political reporters to refuse to act "as the assassin's knife" in leadership spills.

"The nature of politics has changed in the past decade. We have more polls and more commentary than ever before. Mostly sour, bitter, character assassination.

"Refuse to print self-serving claims that the person making them won't put his or her name to. Refuse to connive at dishonour by acting as the assassin's knife."  

"It is humbling to lose, but that does not compare to the honour of being asked to lead," he said.

"In my maiden speech here in this Parliament, I quoted from the first Christian service ever preached here in Australia. The reverend Richard Johnson took as his text what shall I render unto the Lord for all his blessings to me?

"At this, my final statement as Prime Minister, I say: I have rendered all and I am proud of my service. My love for this country is as strong as ever, and may God bless this great Commonwealth.

"Thank you. " 

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