| 11.12,11. 01:04 AM |
Rudd will keep job
KEVIN Rudd will not be sacked as Foreign Minister despite rumblings in the ranks that the Prime Minister should act against the man she deposed for the leadership.
Fresh details have emerged over Mr Rudd's behaviour at the ALP conference last weekend.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Mr Rudd joked with a large group of journalists in a Sydney bar that the Prime Minister's decision to "airbrush" him from history -- during her speech to the party -- reminded him of North Korea's dictatorship.
Mr Rudd also joked about the Prime Minster's "Labor Says Yes To The Future," speech, literally flipping the bird in front of the group of press gallery correspondents as he laughed as he said, "f . . k the future".
But the Prime Minister told The Sunday Telegraph she had no plans to sack the man she ousted.
"Kevin is doing a good job as foreign affairs minister," Ms Gillard said. "So the answer to that question is no, absolutely not.
"I've never heard anyone make any suggestion to the contrary.
"I've never heard anybody suggest that."
Asked whether she and Mr Rudd had a good working relationship, the Prime Minister said: "Absolutely".
But while senior ministers are concerned by Mr Rudd's behaviour, they are scathing of the decision to leak the sealed section of the ALP review to punish him.
Cabinet ministers have described the decision to leak a report to imply that Mr Rudd leaked information during the election campaign as "dumb" and "stupid", and suggested all roads lead to the Prime Minister's office.
"That's just nuts. It's not the way. It's all these young right-wing boofheads in her office," one minister said.
Asked directly by The Sunday Telegraph if a member of her staff had leaked the report, Ms Gillard said the first she had heard about it was when she read it in a newspaper.
However, when asked whether she had asked her own senior staff if they had leaked the report to damage her leadership rival, Ms Gillard refused to answer.
"I am not being drawn on silliness and scuttlebutt," she said.