8.40pm – Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan has excoriated Kevin Rudd in a statement released just hours after the Foreign Minister’s resignation.
Swan’s statement, issued on plain paper, says Rudd has never been a “loyal or selfless example” of the ALP’s “values and objectives”. Swan says Rudd “has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole”.
According to Swan, Julia Gillard has “the overwhelming support of our colleagues”. He says Gillard has always known in her heart that “the Labor Party is not about a person, it’s about a purpose”, but that “Kevin Rudd has never understood”.
The statement is one of the most vicious attacks ever seen by a senior cabinet minister on a former prime minister and colleague. It signals that the Gillard camp is determined to cripple Rudd’s leadership prospects.
Text of statement released by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Prime Minister Gillard and I and the overwhelming majority of our colleagues have been applying our Labor values to the policy challenges in front of us and we’re succeeding despite tremendous political obstacles.
For the sake of the labour movement, the Government and the Australians which it represents, we have refrained from criticism to date.
However for too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop.
The Party has given Kevin Rudd all the opportunities in the world and he wasted them with his dysfunctional decision making and his deeply demeaning attitude towards other people including our caucus colleagues. He sought to tear down the 2010 campaign, deliberately risking an Abbott Prime Ministership, and now he undermines the Government at every turn.
He was the Party’s biggest beneficiary then its biggest critic; but never a loyal or selfless example of its values and objectives.
For the interests of the labour movement and of working people, there is too much at stake in our economy and in the political debate for the interests of the labour movement and working people to be damaged by somebody who does not hold any Labor values.
Julia has the overwhelming support of our colleagues. She is tough, determined, forward-looking, and has a good Labor heart. She has a consultative, respectful relationship with caucus while Kevin Rudd demeaned them. She’s cleaned up a lot of the mess he left her and has established a good, Labor agenda. She’s delivering major reforms, and getting things done that her predecessor could not. Colleagues are sick of Kevin Rudd driving the vote down by sabotaging policy announcements and undermining our substantial economic successes.
The Labor Party is not about a person, it’s about a purpose. That’s something Prime Minister Gillard has always known in her heart but something Kevin Rudd has never understood.