Gillard dismisses McKew’s “disloyal deputy” claims
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she won’t be revisiting the saga of how she came to power in June 2010, despite claims from a former Labor MP that she was a “disloyal deputy” to Kevin Rudd.
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she won’t be revisiting the saga of how she came to power in June 2010, despite claims from a former Labor MP that she was a “disloyal deputy” to Kevin Rudd.
Rumblings over the Labor leadership have been given a nudge with the publication of former MP Maxine McKew’s book, Tales from the Political Trenches.
Ms McKew describes Ms Gillard as being “disloyal” to Mr Rudd, saying internal party polling that was critical of the then prime minister was shopped around to caucus members before the June 2010 coup.
Ms Gillard has previously asserted that she only made up her mind to challenge on the day she walked into Mr Rudd’s office.
She told reporters on Friday that it was history.
“I’ve actually dealt with all of these issues before on the public record, and I’d just refer you to that,” Ms Gillard said.
“I haven’t got anything to add.”
Ms McKew writes that six weeks before Mr Rudd lost the leadership, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese had warned him to watch his back because Ms Gillard was gunning for him.
The former ABC journalist also says another Labor minister, Brendan O’Connor, a supporter of Ms Gillard, had shown research to fellow frontbencher Robert McClelland.
Mr O’Connor has denied the claim.
“She’s a very experienced journalist,” Mr O’Connor told the ABC.
“You would think if she was going to make an assertion about my conduct she’d give me the opportunity to respond to confirm or otherwise that assertion. She did not.”
Mr McClelland, who was dumped from the frontbench by Ms Gillard, said on ABC radio on Friday he had had a conversation at the time with Mr O’Connor.
“I recall he showed me that material,” Mr McClelland said.
“Obviously I don’t know who else he spoke to, but certainly I can recall him showing me material of that nature.
“I have spoken to other people … who were shown similar material.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Ms McKew had “credibility”.
“This isn’t Tony Abbott saying you can’t trust this prime minister – this is a staunch Labor person saying you can’t trust this prime minister,” Mr Abbott told the Nine Network.
The book will be published next week. - AAP