Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rudd to challenge Gillard after Qld election but will Windsor allow it?

Simon Crean sandbags Julia Gillard as leadership tensions rise
Labor's leadership tensions are boiling over into public disputes as more Gillard government MPs are accepting there will be a leadership move against Julia Gillard this year.

Senior ministers moved yesterday to defend the Prime Minister, who remains besieged by poor polls and questions about the administration of her office after the Australia Day riot, and Labor MPs continued to promote the idea of a Kevin Rudd challenge some time after the Queensland election on March 24. A former Labor leader and one of Ms Gillard's staunchest supporters, Simon Crean, fuelled the leadership fight after attacking the Foreign Minister, declaring he could not be prime minister again and was not "a team player".

Other ministers rushed to defend Ms Gillard and deny her leadership was in trouble as allegiances within the influential NSW Right shifted towards Mr Rudd. More Labor MPs are conceding that the latest political debacles for Ms Gillard have sealed her fate as Labor leader and a leadership bid was inevitable.

Tony Abbott continued to press for a "change of government" and demanded the Prime Minister give "the people" an election. Mr Crean began the public criticism of Mr Rudd and his supporters after the latest Newspoll, published exclusively in The Australian yesterday, showed Labor's primary vote flatlining on 30 per cent and Ms Gillard giving ground to the Opposition Leader as preferred prime minister.

Senior right-wing ministers Tony Burke and Bill Shorten also publicly denied any split among the Right over support for Ms Gillard. In one of three interviews on the polls and leadership, Mr Crean told Fairfax radio in Melbourne that Mr Rudd "can't be prime minister again" and that he wasn't a team player. "He's got to accept that," the Regional Development Minister said. "That's a question that should be put to him and I think every time it's been put to him he does accept it," Mr Crean said. "There is no capacity for challenge. There is no contender that has the numbers. And the sooner the party wakes up to that . . . the better off we will be."

Ms Gillard, still being queried about her staff's role in the ugly incident at The Lobby Restaurant in Canberra on Australia Day, refused to comment on the latest Newspoll, leadership speculation or reports of a rift in the NSW Right over support for Mr Rudd. Environment Minister Mr Burke, a leading NSW right-winger, said there had not been "a shift" in the NSW Right and "there will not be a change", but he declined to say that Ms Gillard had the NSW right wing's unanimous support.

Industrial Relations Minister Mr Shorten, a key player in the Victorian Right, pledged strong support for Ms Gillard and denied the Right faction was split."Polls go up and polls go down," Mr Shorten said."Everyone knows that I'm a very strong supporter of our Prime Minister. I think she's a very strong leader and in tough times you need strong leaders. I support Julia Gillard."
Mr Shorten would not comment on Mr Crean's remarks about Mr Rudd.

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1 comment:

  1. gee the Australian guy wont let the fact spoil a good story will they .....when number change and they will May on ward when the $$$$ start arriving the bank accounts ,,let's see if knives come out on Abbott and LNP do the changing.



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