Mr Costello told the group he had set next April 2006 as the absolute deadline -- "that is mid-term" for Mr Howard to stand aside. If not, Mr Costello would challenge Mr Howard. Mr Costello said a challenge "will happen then" if "Howard is still there". "I'll do it," Mr Costello said, also saying he was "prepared to go to the backbench". Mr Costello said he would "carp" at Howard's leadership from the backbench and "destroy it" until he won the leadership.

-- Michael Brissenden, "Costello caught out on leadership comments", 14 Aug 2007.