Downer cool on comeback

THE former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer is playing down the prospect of joining state politics, taking over as leader, and making a run for the premier of South Australia.

The Seven Network has reported Mr Downer is being lobbied intensively to enter politics, supplant Isobel Redmond as Liberal leader and challenge the Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, at the 2014 state election.

It is understood the representations have come from senior South Australian Liberals, including Christopher Pyne. Mr Downer, who retired from politics in 2008, told the Herald last night that there had been approaches made but he was not keen.

''I left politics in 2008. I don't think I want to go and do that again,'' he said.

Mr Downer has a versatile and mixed career and it is understood his wife, Nicky, is not enthusiastic. South Australian Liberals hope he can be convinced.

Phillip Coorey

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