photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Australian politician, 28th Prime Minister of Australia (born 1957)wd:Q348577
country of citizenship: Australia, United Kingdom
language of expression: English
educated at: St John's College, The Queen's College, St Patrick's Seminary, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
award received: Centenary Medal, Rhodes Scholarship, Companion of the Order of Australia
position held: Prime Minister of Australia, Member of the Australian House of Representatives, Leader of the Opposition of Australia, Leader of the House, Minister for Health, Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for Employment Services
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 and leader of the Liberal Party from 2009 to 2015. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 2009 to 2013, and as Member of Parliament (MP) for Warringah from 1994 to 2019. He is currently an adviser to the British government's Board of Trade.
Abbott was born in London 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 at the 1994 Warringah by-election.
After 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 defeated Turnbull by 42 votes to 41, to become the party's leader and Leader of the Opposition.
Abbott led the Coalition at the 2010 election, which resulted in a hung parliament. Following negotiations, Labor formed a Government, with the support of one Green MP and three Independent MPs. Abbott was re-elected as Liberal Leader unopposed. Abbott went on to lead the Coalition to victory in the 2013 election and was sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on 18 September 2013. The Abbott Government aimed to rein in a budget deficit that reached A$48.5 billion by June 2014. It concluded free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. It removed the Rudd-Gillard era Resource Super Profits Tax and carbon pricing. It established the National Commission of Audit to advise on restoring the Budget to surplus; 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.
Abbott campaigned in opposition and in office to halt the human trafficking trade, and unauthorised maritime arrivals ceased during his term of office under Operation Sovereign Borders. In foreign policy, Australia continued its military engagement in the Middle East, amid the worsening Syrian conflict. In 2015, the Abbott Government agreed to resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from the region. Abbott challenged Russia at the United Nations over the shooting down of Malaysian Flight MH17 in Ukraine. The Government 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, flagging a referendum for 2017, and promised a plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage.
On 14 September 2015, Abbott was defeated in a vote for the Liberal leadership (54 votes to 44) by Malcolm Turnbull, who replaced Abbott as Prime Minister the following day. After his defeat in the party leadership, he returned to the backbench and held his seat of Warringah at the 2016 federal election. He lost his seat to independent candidate Zali Steggall in the 2019 federal election. In September 2020, he was named an adviser to the British Government’s Board of Trade with the stated aim of providing "a range of views to help in its advisory function, promoting free and fair trade and advising on UK trade policy to the International Trade Secretary".
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