PM Tony Abbott takes knighthood criticism 'on the chin'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaking during CEDA's State of the Nation conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaking during CEDA's State of the Nation conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. AAP Image - Jeffrey Chan

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has admitted that his decision to give a knighthood to Prince Philip was "contentious", but he would not back away from it.

"He has been a great contributor to Australia," Mr Abbott said.

"And I guess the contribution that I'm most conscious of, because some of my own daughters went through it, is Prince Philip's Duke of Edinburgh Leadership Awards which some three quarters of a million young Australians have been through.

"So look, I stand by the decision. I understand why some people don't like it. I respect their right to be critical.

"I take it on the chin but I do want to assure people that I have heard them and there will be considerably more consultation around these awards in the future."

EARLIER: Newman attacks Abbott's knighting of Prince Philip

He made the comments at a press conference announcing that stopping domestic violence would be on the agenda at upcoming COAG meetings.

The COAG advisory panel would be chaired by 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty and outgoing Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay

A national Domestic Violence Order scheme would also be on the cards, meaning that any protection order would apply in all states.

Mr Abbott said Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's attempt to distance himself from the decision was one the Prime Minister respected.

Mr Newman said on Tuesday the knighting of the monarch's husband was a "bolt from the blue", and that he disagreed with it.

In the following sentences, Mr Abbott channelled the Premier himself, describing Queensland's LNP as a "strong team with a strong plan for a stronger Queensland".

Brisbane's Courier-Mail ran a giant image of the Prime Minister as a court jester on its front page this morning, 

Mr Abbott would not say if he felt he owed the Queensland Premier an apology after causing a distraction during his final week of campaigning.

When quizzed on whispers from Coalition MPs about his ability to lead the party, he said, "I take it on the chin but I lead a government which is strong, effective, which has already a fine record of achievement and I look forward to building on that in 2015.

Topics:  national politics queensland election 2015 tony abbott

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