The Treasurer in the defeated coalition government, Peter Costello, has announced that he “will not seek and will not accept” the leadership or deputy leadership of the Liberal Party.
Peter and Tanya Costello at today’s press conference
Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, Costello said: “I will continue to serve my constituents and in serving my constituents I hope that I will have a role to play perhaps mentoring some of the newer MPs.” Significantly, he did not commit to serving the full three years of the term he was elected to yesterday.
Costello said he “will be looking to build a career post-politics in the commercial world”.
Costello has been deputy leader of the Liberal Party since May 23, 1994. He was been Treasurer since the Howard government was elected in 1996. His decision to vacate the field will likely lead to a contest between outgoing ministers such as Malcolm Turnbull, Brendan Nelson, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Julie Bishop.