Greg Combet, a senior minister in the previous Labor government, says then Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered to stand aside to allow him to assume the leadership.
Combet appeared in an interview broadcast on the ABC’s 7.30 program tonight. Combet’s memoirs, The Fights of My Life, will be released next week and launched by Gillard.
Combet says that he approached Gillard in mid-June last year and was of the view that a ballot for the leadership should be held. He said Gillard offered to stand aside if he put his name forward. He says he declined because he thought the momentum for Rudd’s return was well-developed and that it would be a difficult political manoeuvre to “pull off”. Facing a personal health problem, Combet said he decided not to nominate.