• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 4:22pm

Kevin Rudd

Australian politician Kevin Rudd replaced his former deputy Julia Gillard as prime minister and leader of the Labor Party on 27 June 2013. Rudd previously served as prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and leader of the Labor Party from 2006 to 2010. A former diplomat and Chinese-speaker, Rudd is the first former Australian prime minister to return to office since Robert Menzies in 1949.

NewsWorld
AUSTRALIA

'Bastard' Kevin Rudd gets earful from ex-Australian minister Nicola Roxon

Divisive ex-PM told to quit parliament and give new Labor leader a chance to rebuild

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 October, 2013, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 October, 2013, 9:38pm

Australia's former attorney general has launched a scathing attack on Labor colleague and ex-prime minister Kevin Rudd, calling him a rude and disorganised "bastard" who should quit parliament.

Rudd, who lost national elections to conservative leader Tony Abbott last month after ousting Julia Gillard as prime minister in June, has a reputation as a hot-tempered politician and a micro-manager, and Nicola Roxon did not mince her words in a speech.

"Although I was frustrated beyond belief by his disorganisation and lack of strategy, I was never personally a victim of his vicious tongue or temper," said Roxon, health minister under Rudd before being elevated to attorney general under Gillard.

"I did, however, see how terribly he treated some brilliant staff and public servants. Good people were burnt through like wildfire - losing senior people … or contemptuously ignoring their advice left the government weaker."

Labor has been dogged by in-fighting for years, with two prime ministers toppled by their own ranks. New party leader Bill Shorten vowed to draw a line under the past rancour after his election last weekend.

But Roxon, who has quit politics, was determined to put her thoughts on record, saying the party did the right thing by getting rid of Rudd in June 2010 in a shock coup by Gillard, who isan ally and friend.

"Removing Kevin was an act of political bastardry for sure. But this act of political bastardry was made possible only because Kevin had been such a bastard himself to so many people already," she said.

His sudden downfall mystified the Australian public and Roxon admitted the party should have better explained why they demoted him to foreign minister.

Rudd stepped down as Labor leader after his crushing defeat by Abbott in September but stoked speculation of a comeback down the track with ambiguous remarks in his concession speech, although he has since kept a low profile.

Roxon said he should quit parliament altogether to give Shorten the chance to rebuild the party.

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or