Tony Abbott

Anthony John Abbott (; born 4 November 1957) is an Australian former politician who served as the 28th prime minister of Australia from 2013 to 2015. He held office as the leader of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Abbott was born in London, England, to an Australian mother and a British father, and moved to Sydney at the age of two. He studied economics and law at the University of Sydney, and then attended The Queen's College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After graduating from Oxford, Abbott briefly trained as a Roman Catholic seminarian, and later worked as a journalist, manager, and political adviser. In 1992, he was appointed director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, a position he held until his election to parliament as a member of parliament (MP) for the division of Warringah at the 1994 Warringah by-election, before the election of the Howard government in 1996.

Following the 1998 election, Abbott was appointed Minister for Employment Services in the second Howard ministry. He was promoted to cabinet in 2001 as Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. In 2003, Abbott became Minister for Health and Ageing, retaining this position until the defeat of the Howard government at the 2007 election. Initially serving in the shadow cabinets of Brendan Nelson and then Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott resigned from the front bench in November 2009, in protest against Turnbull's support for the Rudd government's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Forcing a leadership ballot on the subject, Abbott narrowly defeated Turnbull to become the party's leader and leader of the opposition. Abbott led the Liberal-National Coalition to the 2010 federal election, which resulted in a hung parliament, and an eventual victory for the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Abbott remained leader, and led the Coalition to a landslide victory at the 2013 election.

After assuming office, the Abbott government implemented Operation Sovereign Borders in an effort to halt illegal maritime arrivals. It abolished several reforms enacted by the preceding government, including the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and Australia's carbon pricing scheme. His government aimed to rein in a federal budget deficit that reached A$48.5 billion by June 2014, and established the National Commission of Audit to advise on restoring the federal budget to surplus. Abbott instituted the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption; founded the Medical Research Future Fund; and produced white papers on developing Northern Australia and the Agricultural Competitiveness. In international affairs, Abbott concluded free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. He challenged the Russian president Vladimir Putin over Russia's actions in Ukraine and over the shooting down of Malaysian Flight MH17 in Ukraine. He committed Australian forces to the battle against ISIS during the Syrian conflict, and agreed to resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from the region. He launched the New Colombo Plan to encourage educational exchange with the Indo-Pacific region. Domestically, Abbott campaigned for recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution, and promised a plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Abbott's "budget repair" measures proved unpopular, with his government's austere 2014 budget being widely criticised. Due to Abbott's poor opinion polling and personal unpopularity, he was defeated by rival Malcolm Turnbull in a September 2015 leadership spill, and replaced as prime minister. He remained in the Parliament as a backbencher, until he lost his seat of Warringah to independent candidate Zali Steggall at the 2019 federal election. In September 2020, he was named an adviser to the British government's Board of Trade. Abbott continues to contribute to international public debate as a writer, public speaker and advocate for conservative causes. He is often ranked in the lower tier of Australian prime ministers. Provided by Wikipedia

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