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Leaked Letters Show Tony Abbott's Plans To Meddle With Independent ABC

The ABC is now in a #qandary.

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An exchange of letters between Tony Abbott and the head of the ABC reveal the prime minister's strict ultimatum to the independent broadcaster: Move Q&A or the boycott continues.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

The ultimatum comes nearly three full weeks after the controversial Q&A episode aired in which a former terror suspect questioned a government MP on live television.

Abbott has been waging a very messy war with the ABC since then, implementing a ministerial boycott of the show and openly questioning the loyalty of the national broadcaster.

But letters leaked on Friday show ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman wrote to the prime minister and said the review into Q&A could take between 15-16 weeks.

The most important part of the letter involved Spigelman suggesting that maybe Q&A should be re-classified at the ABC.

"One of the options under active consideration is to transfer the programme to the News Division," he wrote, adding "I see merit in this proposal".

Tony Abbott's letter in reply makes his position on this abundantly clear... move the program, or else.

Q&A to be transferred to news division -after that -frontbenchers will go on the show again, specifically Turnbull..

It means communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been a frustrated middle man between the government and the ABC, would not be appearing as scheduled on Monday.

.@TurnbullMalcolm will not be joining Monday's #QandA panel.

And with the ultimatum in place, ABC management had a quandary on its hand. Or was that a #qandary.

There were some people, including Labor MPs who were shocked at the development.

The fact that the PM tells the ABC how it has to be should raise alarm bells in itself.

And some among Australia's "left" who were also outraged.

If the ABC agrees to move #qanda to News as Abbott demands it will be abject surrender of its independence. They should ignore him.

At least we now know the terms for Tony Abbott's Q&A reform.

The new look @QandA is a bit much tbqh.