Tony Abbott's wife defends critics' comments

Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. Photo / Getty Images
Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. Photo / Getty Images

The wife of Australia's Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has spoken out against critics of her husband, saying comments that he has difficulty dealing with women are groundless and distortions.

Margie Abbott says their three daughters are living the life that feminists aspire for all young women and this has been achieved with the loving support of their father.

Her comments, in an exclusive piece about her husband for News Ltd on Friday, come after the recent release of David Marr's quarterly essay, which included allegations rejected by Mr Abbott, that he had punched a wall next to the head of then university student politician Barbara Ramjan.

Mrs Abbott says she and her daughters Louise, 23, Frances, 21, and Bridget, 19, are aware of what she called "a deliberate campaign" to cast doubt on her husband's relationship with women.

"I won't stand by and let others claim that the man I love and the father my children adore, has some agenda against women," Mrs Abbott said.

She also wrote that Mr Abbott has played a big part in supporting their daughters in "living the life that feminists aspire for every young woman".

News Ltd reports Mrs Abbott will address more than 80 Liberal women in Sydney's west on Friday, alongside their daughter Frances, Mr Abbott's mother and two of his sisters, as the Coalition tries to defuse Labor's claims he has a problem dealing with women.

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian on Friday, which analysed figures in the past three months, showed 29 per cent of women are satisfied with Mr Abbott's performance, compared with 34 per cent of men.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has claimed Mr Abbott has a problem with capable women, while Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has said he has difficulty dealing with women in positions of authority.

- AAP

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