Aussie ex-PM Abbott to pay for marble table damaged during rowdy parliamentary party



Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to pay for a marble table that was damaged in parliament during a rowdy party held the night he was ousted as prime minister.

Late on Monday evening, Abbott released a statement expressing his remorse for the damage to the Italian-made table, explaining that he would be seeking an invoice for all of the damages incurred during the party.

The former prime minister came under fire on Monday after it was revealed that partygoers danced on the parliamentary table into the early hours of the morning -- after Abbott was ousted from the position on Sept. 14.

Abbott said he took full responsibility for the damage caused, and promised to pay the cost to repair the table in full.

"On the night of the leadership change I hosted drinks in the cabinet anteroom for staff and colleagues," Abbott said on Monday evening.

"During this event a coffee table was damaged."

"I have asked my office to have the Department of Parliamentary Services invoice me for the value of the table. It was my event so I take responsibility for it."

A Senate estimates hearing was informed on Monday that the table, initially bought for the opening of Canberra's parliament house back in 1988, could cost as much at 1,200 U.S dollars to repair.

The federal Opposition slammed the government for not revealing details of the damaged property earlier, with Labor senator Penny Wong indicating the damage occurred after "quite the party."

She revealed that parliamentary staff were not allowed into the room where the coffee table was until three days after the event, and even then, they were not allowed to inspect it for damage.

The Department of Parliamentary Services assistant secretary, John Ryan, told The Guardian Australia on Tuesday that no investigation had been ordered into specific details regarding how the damage was incurred. Enditem