VETERAN Liberal MP Philip Ruddock has been sacked as chief government whip in the wake of the failed leadership spill motion, a move one MP likened to the start of "the night of the long knives".
Mr Ruddock, who is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, will be replaced by Queensland MP Scott Buchholz.
Tasmanian MP Andrew Nikolic, a prominent supporter of the Prime Minister, will also be promoted to a whip position.
On Monday Mr Abbott came within 12 votes of facing a leadership spill and his narrow victory shocked the Prime Minister's loyalists.
Some senior ministers hold Mr Ruddock partly to blame, saying one of his roles should have been to rally support for the leader.
Read more at ABC News Online
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