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Abbott PM bid 'dead, buried, cremated'

AAP logoAAP 27/09/2016 Elise Scott

Six years ago at Melbourne's 3AW radio studio, Tony Abbott signed a "contract" declaring Work Choices "dead, buried and cremated".

He would not quite do the same about his own leadership ambitions on Tuesday.

But referencing the declaration he made as opposition leader, Mr Abbott said they were appropriate words to describe his situation as a backbench member of the Liberal party and any rumoured plot to recover his old job.

"I used the phrase here in your studio about five years ago. I said dead, buried and cremated and that's probably not a bad phrase in this context as well," he told 3AW.

But the former prime minister stopped short of signing another "contract", declaring an Abbott leadership dead one year after he was toppled by Malcolm Turnbull.

He insists he is keeping busy and does not expect to be invited back to the frontbench, but admits losing the nation's top job still hurts.

"I guess you always carry around the scar tissue from these things," Mr Abbott said.

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