FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned of the potential for corruption in his own party because of the influence of lobbyists with strong commercial interests.

In an interview with tonight's Four Corners, Mr Abbott said the NSW Liberal Party was now a less representative party, "easily controlled" by factional warlords.

"Some of these factional warlords have a commercial interest in dealing with politicians whose pre-selections they can influence. Now this is a potentially corrupt position", he told the program.

Mr Abbott's right-wing conservatives and moderates have clashed over how state and federal candidates are selected.

The ABC reported that NSW Liberal Party president Trent Zimmerman hit back at Mr Abbott's latest comments, saying some lobbyists were being "demonised" by their opponents in the party.

"My experience of being involved in politics for a long period of time is that when you do have internal friction, there is a tendency to try and demonise those people that you're disagreeing with," Mr Zimmerman, who is also the Federal MP for North Sydney and a member of the moderate faction, said.

Mr Zimmerman defended the role of high-profile lobbyist Michael Photios, a leading member of the moderate faction.

Mr Photios sits on the board of two influential lobbying companies, Premier State Consulting and Capital Hill Advisory.

The moderate faction swung behind Malcolm Turnbull in last year's leadership battle.

Mr Abbott has advocated the use of plebiscites to preselect MPs and senators.

But some have warned that could lead to the return of branch stacking by ethnic or religious groups.