Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has publicly backed Julia Gillard to win next year’s federal election.

In his first major media interview since a failed tilt at the Labor leadership, Mr Rudd says his main political foe is Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Tom Serafin reports.


Months after his caucus leadership bid defeat, rumours continue to surface around Mr Rudd’s ambitions.

Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister: “Let me tell you, my voice won’t be silenced in the public debate because the issues at stake for Australia are so stark.”

Rudd says the austerity budget measures imposed in Queensland and New South Wales are a prologue to an Abbott-led government.

Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister: “Frankly, it’s just the entree. The maincourse lies with Mr Abbott.”

And Labor Government can win under the Prime Minister, but which..?

Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister: “The government can win and prevail against Mr Abbott at the next election that’s why the gov- – with Julia Gillard as the leader? – Under the Prime Minister’s leadership to do so. – Under this Prime Minister’s leadership? – Under the Prime Minister’s leadership. – Under Prime Minister Gillard? – I just said that, under Prime Minister Gillard’s leadership.”

Leaving some parliamentarians wondering.

Kevin Andrews, Opposition Families Spokesperson: “The Prime Minister should try and sleep with one eye open.”

Others aren’t so concerned.

Penny Wong, Minister for Finance: “People watch every move too much and tend to dramatise things, so Kevin Rudd made his position very clear.”

Shortly after the interview aired, Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned to her duties having taken leave to mourn the loss of her father.

The PM was consoled by Defence Minister Stephen Smith as she left Canberra for New South Wales to attend a funeral for Private Nathaniel Gallagher, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Tom Serafin, QUT News.