Turnbull lashes out in secret audio. Picture: Kym Smith
Turnbull lashes out in secret audio. Picture: Kym Smith

'Miserable ghosts': Turnbull on conspirators in secret tape

MALCOLM Turnbull has hit out at the Liberal Party over its handling of the leadership spill in a secret recording.

In audio obtained by Nine News, Mr Turnbull can also be heard calling fellow former prime ministers Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd "miserable ghosts".

The tape was reportedly recorded during a talk Mr Turnbull had with a group of young leaders in New York on Friday.

When the conversation turned to the topic of his ousting from the top job, Mr Turnbull explained while the Coalition was 51-49 on the published polls, internal polls that tracked 40 different seats showed he was actually ahead by four points, 52-48.

Malcolm Turnbull has been in New York with his wife Lucy since the leadership spill.
Malcolm Turnbull has been in New York with his wife Lucy since the leadership spill.

But he claimed that members party of the party were determined to shake up the leadership, regardless of the difference between the public and internal polls.

"But for reason's that they've not been able to explain, there was an element of the party and of the media that wanted to blow the government up, and they did," Mr Turnbull said.

"And of course they didn't get their guy up, they got ScoMo (Scott Morrison)."

It wasn't just the leadership debacle that the former PM wanted to vent about. He also took aim at his predecessors for their decision to stay in parliament after being kicked out of the top job.

"When you stop being prime minister, that's it," he said.

"There is no way I would be hanging around like lipid Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. Seriously, these people are like miserable, miserable ghosts."

Turnbull called out Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd for their decisions to stay in parliament. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP
Turnbull called out Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd for their decisions to stay in parliament. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

Mr Turnbull said it was important not to be "driven by hate" in these types of situations, something he clearly believed Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott were.

In 2010, Julia Gillard toppled Mr Rudd from the stop job but, instead of resigning, Mr Rudd hung around before seizing the position back in 2013.

Mr Abbott lost a leadership spill in 2015 and was replaced by Mr Turnbull, but he certainly didn't make the transition easy for the new PM.

Many attributed Mr Turnbull's downfall to the constant push-back he received from Mr Abbott and a conservative faction of the Liberal Party, making it almost impossible for Mr Turnbull to lead.

This isn't the first time Mr Turnbull has made his feelings known about politicians who stick around after being stripped of the prime ministership.

He revealed his stance on how former prime minister's should behave in August when he announced he would leave parliament if he lost the leadership spill.

"I made it very clear that I believe former prime ministers are best out of the Parliament and I don't think there's much evidence to suggest that that conclusion … is not correct," he said.