A tipster from northern Sydney tells us that Tony Abbott is now completely estranged from his ideological mother, Bronwyn Bishop:

There’s an interesting little battle raging in Mackellar between two giants of the past which most political junkies are missing out on because both the players are yesterday’s people so the majors aren’t bothering to report it.  So far the stoush has only received coverage in the local rag, The Manly Daily, with a tiny side-bar by the same reporter in The Daily Telegraph. It’s all about Choppergate.

Niki Savva’s book asserts it was Abbott’s office that told Bronwyn Bishop to hold off apologising for the profligacy she displayed in hiring a helicopter to take her to a party function.  Shortly after this news was first reported last Sunday Bishop’s office issued a statement saying she had nothing further to add thus seeming to confirm the reports.  The Savva information actually changes the dynamics and helps to explain why Bishop turned her back on Abbott to vote for Turnbull. If true.

This has enraged the former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who holds the neighbouring electorate of Warringah. Abbott came out swinging and flatly denied the report, saying he wanted her to apologise and pay back the cost immediately. A couple of Abbott’s former staffers were also angry enough to come out on the record backing Abbott’s version.

What we do know is that Abbott and Bishop, once great friends and right-wing allies, are now mortal enemies involved in a fight to the death. Abbott’s former campaign manager, Walter Villatora, was first to nominate against Bishop brandishing a reference from the former PM. With this kind of behaviour on display it’s no wonder most federal Liberals would like to see the back of both these troublesome MPs.  Disunity is death, and they’re hanging it out for all to see.”

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Peter Fray

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