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Tony Abbott threatens to cross the floor on government’s energy policy

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Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott isn’t ruling out crossing the floor on the government’s National Energy Guarantee.

The Member for Warringah is one of several backbenchers agitating for changes to the government’s energy policy, including pushing for new coal-fired power stations.

“I hope it doesn’t come to questions of crossing the floor, I really do,” Mr Abbott tells Ben Fordham.

“It’s not something that any Liberal would lightly do, but I don’t think we can be expected to support a policy that will continue to drive prices up and which will deny our industries the affordable 24/7 power that they need for jobs to continue.”

Mr Abbott is also taking aim at the government’s processes, hitting out at a “fundamental failure” introduced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull which sees legislation being discussed at “enormous length” before members on the backbench get to have a say.

He says the process wasn’t in place when John Howard was Prime Minister, nor was it established when he was leader.

“It’s a fundamental failure of process and it’s stifling the proper debate that we should be able to have inside our party room.”

The former PM says the government goes above and beyond to negotiate with the crossbench and the same should be afforded to backbenchers.

“Don’t forget the backbench because you are only in government because you’ve got a backbench that’s prepared to support your legislation.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview