Malcolm Turnbull unleashes on Kevin Rudd after secret letters leak

Last Friday, Mr Rudd’s office leaked out three letters he had written to Malcolm Turnbull to journalists, and now, the Prime Minister
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Last Friday, Mr Rudd’s office leaked out three letters he had written to Malcolm Turnbull to journalists, and now, the Prime Minister is not happy. Mr Turnbull is now accusing the former PM of verballing him and plotting in advance to leak private correspondence to the media.

The letters detailed the few occasions on which Mr Turnbull was said to have privately endorsed Mr Rudd’s bid between September and December last year.

But Mr Turnbull denied he ever supported Mr Rudd’s tilt to lead the United Nations during a key December meeting, and refused to be drawn on Mr Rudd’s central claim that he had previously expressed his support for the bid, reports SMH.

Mr Turnbull said, “I’m not going to be getting into this debating Mr Rudd … he and I have had discussions that have touched on this over a long period of time,” he told ABC radio.

“They were all confidential discussions, they were all private conversations.

“It says a lot about Mr Rudd that quite some time after the event he would seek to present an account of them in correspondence he would write to me with the clear intention of subsequently releasing it.”

Last week, Mr Turnbull announced that the Australian government would not nominate Mr Rudd for the position of UN Secretary-General, a job the former prime minister has coveted for years, causing Mr Rudd to fume.

The leaked discussions between the two men is considered as significant because it goes to a question of Mr Turnbull’s honesty and consistency. Through the correspondence he released, Mr Rudd is implying the Prime Minister either lied in their initial discussions or changed his mind without adequate explanation.

To make it worse, Mr Turnbull refuses to deny that he ever gave Mr Rudd his personal support will only fuel speculation that he was pressured into opposing the bid by his party’s right-wing.

In his first public comments about the leaked letters, Mr Turnbull said it had been made clear to Mr Rudd that the matter would be determined by cabinet.

The letters released by Mr Rudd’s camp, which, while only showing one side, suggest that agreements had been reached to support the Rudd bid, but that this support was suddenly withdrawn on May 1, just days before the election was called.

In one letter, Mr Rudd refers to a December 23 meeting he had with Mr Turnbull. He claimed the Prime Minister once again offered his support and indicated that although the decision would have to be signed off by cabinet, this process would not change the outcome.

Mr Turnbull claims that letter “makes assertions about support being given” that were “absolutely untrue”. “That meeting was held in my office with my chief of staff and it was made very clear to him that it was a matter for the cabinet,” Mr Turnbull told ABC radio.

According to Mr Rudd’s spokesperson, he stood by his account of the December meeting and that “the letters were released in direct response to briefing [of journalists] from the Prime Minister’s office that was inaccurate”.

Who can you trust in this debacle?

  1. Colin Wick  

    Surely this indicates, after his failure to accept the Governments decision, that Kevin would have been totally unsuited to any leadership position.

    • Bruce Taylor  

      No it does not show that at all. Before the decision was made I watched Jeff Kennet a highly regarded Victorian Liberal ex premier detail the reasons why Turnbull should endorse Rudd. Everything he said made sense.
      Tutnbulls own deputy supported the Rudd. The only people against it were the extreme right of the party which I am afraid to say are starting to sound more and more like the Nazi party of old.

    • mareela  

      Colin Wick all it shows is that Malcolm is a liar and a lame duck PM who is beholden to the far right nut jobs.

  2. Dee  

    So by your way of thinking, he should just accept this kind of mistreatment and not speak out about it. He has every right to expose Malcolm for what he is, especially after he’s spent a lot of time and money travelling the world canvassing for this position. He is furious about being mislead and I don’t blame him for exposing the truth to the Australian people.

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Yes I agree. Tells u how dishonest and how Turnbull lies.

      • Peter Price  

        He spent a lot of tax payers dollars doing the same thing when he held the reins. Never worried him then. His ego is no large that he won’t accept any rebuttal of his ambitious pretences.

  3. Carol Vitkovic  

    Exactly. Nose out of joint with leaders of the world and he will leak confidential information. Definitely not trustworthy. Toughen up Kevin and accept the decision. Your Labor mates wouldn’t have done it either

  4. Greg Hills  

    Interesting how all the comments are biased by which side of the political fence people are on.
    My take on it though, biased or not, is two fold;
    1. Kevin had no right to leak the documents. It is like making public a decline letter from a prospective hirer. It is just not allowed or done.
    2. Yes, it does smell like Malcolm has been pressured by the arm of the Liberal Party that is the worst possible thing for our country – the right wing.
    Actually, the right wings of any political party around the world is bad for the world. The right wing Republicans in America hindered Obama in his second term, that he was simply unable to implement many great reforms that he wanted to.

    • JD  

      Actually it’s the left wing bigots in politics that create right wing conservatives. Just thought I would add a little balance

  5. Greg Hills  

    Interesting how all the comments are biased by which side of the political fence people are on.
    My take on it though, biased or not, is two fold;
    1. Kevin had no right to leak the documents. It is like making public a decline letter from a prospective hirer. It is just not allowed or done.
    2. Yes, it does smell like Malcolm has been pressured by the arm of the Liberal Party that is the worst possible thing for our country – the right wing.
    Actually, the right wings of any political party around the world is bad for the world. The right wing Republicans in America hindered Obama in his second term, that he was simply unable to implement many great reforms that he wanted to.

  6. Anne Wolski  

    I think Kevin Rudd was suitable for the position but Malcolm Turdballs is just a vindictive prick like the rest of the liberal arse lickers

  7. Phil Spencer  

    I think this all goes to BOTH men’s integrity neither of them have any!

  8. Roy Bridges  

    Rudd not interested in what’s good for this country only interested in what’s good for Rudd .
    Just want he to go away stop wasting everyone time.

  9. Sheena Lawson  

    I’m a Labour supportive, but the more Rudd goes on about this matter, the more I believe Turnbull made the right decision. Rudd is a loose cannon and should not be put in a position of representing this great country. He has an enormous ego which should be ignored!

  10. Kevin Murphy  

    Putting aside Australian politics, but with the clear knowledge of the narcissistic and petulant character, and the overwhelming managerial risks associated with putting Rudd in charge of anything more complicated than a weekend chook raffle, the world, with the deficiencies afflicting the UN administration, budgets, and diverse multi-ethnic pressures it’s over 170 plus members seek to extract for themselves, is it seriously any wonder why either Turnbull, or all Australians, should fear his management of any even more diverse Organisation when he couldn’t do the job at home without constantly spitting the dummy? Australia’s reputation is now at a much lower risk of ridicule with this decision.

  11. colin  

    Actually K Rudd is quite respected overseas , it is only Australia and the narrow minded as well as the puppet Turnbull that see him a different way

  12. Ross Edwards  

    Just goes to show how politicians at all levels lie, & they expect us to trust them, what a laugh.

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