Chopper saga to end Bronwyn Bishop's career, says Abbott

THE high-flying former Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop now appears to be permanently grounded with Prime Minister Tony Abbott describing the conservative veteran's career as "substantially at an end".

Mr Abbott conceded that his Coalition Government was left bruised by the so-called Choppergate saga, which began when Ms Bishop was found to have spent $5000 chartering a helicopter to fly from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a party fundraiser.

Amid pressure from the Opposition and almost daily revelations suggesting a history of questionable travel expenses, Ms Bishop first apologised then on Sunday was stood down by Mr Abbott.

The PM told an Adelaide radio show said whatever damage the saga did to the government's reputation, she had personally paid a higher price.

"She's lost a position that she loved and it's likely her career in the Parliament is substantially at an end," Mr Abbott told the FIVEaa Radio host.

"That's a high price to pay."
 

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Fairfax Media is reporting that losing her prestigious Parliamentary position may not be the end of the fallout for Ms Bishop.

It quotes unnamed Liberal MPs as pushing for the former Speaker to exit Parliament at the next election, leaving her seat of Mackellar available for a new contender.

Ms Bishop was named as the Speaker of the House after Mr Abbott personally vouched for her as a candidate.

It has now gone down as another one of his notoriously unpopular "captain's picks".

Howard-era Minister Peter Reith wrote in a Fairfax column on Tuesday that "just about everyone one of his picks has beena  disaster for him, including paid parental leave, knighthoods and local government recognition".

Mr Abbott told FIVEaa that her replacement would be decided by the party.
 


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