Peta's extraordinary moment of fury caused by photo of Abbott without a blue tie

Gus Bruno with AAP

When ex-Prime minister Tony Abbott's controversial chief of staff was caught on camera giving future minister Stuart Robert a severe dressing down, the world of politics asked: What did Mr Robert do that could have brought upon such a wrath?

Well, now we know.

Gold Coast MP Mr Robert has revealed Ms Credlin 'did her nut' at him during the 2013 election because the senior Liberal MP ambushed Mr Abbott and took a photo of him wearing a tie that wasn't his famous blue.

Gold Coast MP Mr Robert has revealed Ms Credlin 'did her nut' at him during the 2013 election because the senior Liberal MP ambushed Mr Abbott and took a photo of him wearing a tie that wasn't his famous blue. Photo: ABC

He told Niki Savva for her controversial new book The Road to Ruin, an insight into Tony Abbott's time in charge, that he spotted Mr Abbott wearing a red and black tie.

Mr Robert planned on auctioning off Mr Abbott's unusual tie and the photo to raise funds for Liberal Party candidates.

Abbott was reportedly warned he would lose the prime ministership if he didn't dump Credlin.

He outlined how Ms Credlin refused to allow him to take the picture until after the election, but to no avail. Mr Robert found himself alone with Mr Abbott soon after and convinced him to pose for the photo.

Unfortunately for Mr Robert, Ms Credlin returned mid-photoshoot and unleashed on him in a profanity-laden tirade in front of the media.

Peta Credlin has hit back at suggestions she had an affair with her boss, former prime minister Tony Abbott, labelling them "bile".

A new book from journalist Niki Savva released on Monday claims colleagues suspected an affair between Mr Abbott and his chief of staff, Ms Credlin.

The book claims Abbott allegedly slapped his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, on the bum.

Ms Credlin slammed the claims in The Road to Ruin her relationship with the prime minister was anything but professional as "completely false, utterly untrue, unfounded and wrong" in The Australian on Tuesday.

Writing in the newspaper, Ms Credlin says she's long been a victim of attacks from Ms Savva despite barely knowing her.

"I earned my good reputation by working hard for four cabinet ministers, three opposition leaders and one prime minister so I am not going to let these sneering cowards define me.

“I can’t be any clearer — it is about as low as it gets. It’s vicious and -malicious,” Ms Credlin says.

She hopes the attack doesn't dissuade smart women from a career in politics.

"I know I am not the first woman to face offensive and false rumours about the nature of her professional relationships but, sadly, I doubt I will be the last.

Tony Abbott denied rumours of the affair. Photo: AAP

"I've never claimed that I got it right every time, but you don't survive 16 years in one of the toughest working environments around if you're not up to the job or don't have a good reputation."

Former Liberal prime minister John Howard has confirmed he advised Tony Abbott to remove his controversial chief of staff before he was dumped as leader by his party.

Mr Howard counselled Mr Abbott to consider sacking Peta Credlin. "Look, I did give him advice on two personnel issues and that was one of them," he told Sky News.

A new book by journalist Niki Savva released this week proposes Ms Credlin was instrumental in Mr Abbott's downfall.

Mr Howard also confirmed he suggested Mr Abbott install Malcolm Turnbull as treasurer over Joe Hockey.

Tony Abbott and John Howard at 10th anniversary of Bali bombings in 2012. Photo: Getty

Mr Abbott was dumped as prime minister in September and replaced by Mr Turnbull.

"I feel for Tony, because it was very humiliating and he had won an election," Mr Howard said.

Tony Abbott and John Howard in 2010. Photo: Getty

"But the people who have the authority to make the decision, made the decision and they clearly voted in a new leader.

"They are not going to review their decision."

Mr Howard said people needed to stop raking over old coals and focus on the main game of making sure the coalition government was re-elected.