FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott has finally confessed that he was passed out, drunk, on the night he should have voted on Kevin Rudd's GFC bailout measures in 2009.

Wayne Swan will no doubt be gratified that Mr Abbott has come clean, having dogged him to do so for years after the event.

Mr Abbott, who was the leader of the opposition at that time, has shared his story on The House With Annabel Crabb, in an episode set to air on September 5.

He recounted the story to Crabb standing in the Members Only dining room in Parliament House.

"There was one famous occasion when Peter Costello, Kevin Andrews and I hung out rather a long time here," he told Crabb.

"The night that the then-Rudd government was trying to bring in measures to deal with the GFC.

"I think quite a few bottles of wine were consumed by the three of us," Abbott said with a laugh.

"Peter was close to leaving at that stage, and I think all of us were in a mellow and reflective mood, so the reflections went on for longer, and later, than they should have.

"The impact was rather greater than it should have been.

"I think I famously slept through several divisions."

Crabb prompted the former PM to go on, saying, "the story was that you repaired … to the couch in your room and could not be roused".

Mr Abbott confirmed this is what happened.

"It was a late night sitting, against all OH&S rules as you can imagine," he said.

"I lay down, and the next thing I knew it was morning."

Asked by reporters at the time whether he had been drunk, Mr Abbott said "that is an impertinent question".

Crabb's conversation is part of her ABC series which looks at Parliament House, a place taxpayers pay for, but will rarely see.

She described Mr Abbott as the only MP "reckless enough to smuggle me in" to the members dining room.

The House With Annabel Crabb, ABC, 8pm Tuesdays

Originally published as Abbott admits he was drunk in parliament

News Corp Australia


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