Canberra: It was an 'emotionally difficult' moment for former Australia prime minister Tony Abbott when he first came to know about the leadership challenge posed by his communication minister Malcolm Turnbull, deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said Tuesday.
As Abbott's deputy, it was Julie Bishop's job to inform him about the leadership spill, which she has described as “the toughest thing” to do in her political life, reported the Xinhua.
Talking about the moment she had to deliver the news of his defeat in the leadership spill, Bishop said that there were “tears shed” and it was a “very difficult time for her, Abbott and the party,” the Xinhua quoted her as telling morning TV.
Talking to Nine Network, she said how Tony Abbott was “visibly upset” when he was first told about the leadership challenged and remained calm until the result of the vote.
"He was calm, he was obviously very hurt. Emotionally this is a very draining time for people and I feel for Tony and I feel for ( his wife) and his daughters. I knew them well," Bishop said.
"I know what stresses and strains the leadership were under. It was a very difficult time for him, it was very emotional for everyone involved," she added.
However, the foreign minister denied claims that she was one of Abbott's ministers to turn on his leadership.
Bishop was retained as deputy leader of the party during Monday night's snap ballot. She defeated Kevin Andrews by 70 votes to 30.