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Rudd's leadership in crisis -

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Rudd's leadership in crisis

Broadcast: 23/06/2010

Reporter: Dana Robertson

Kevin Rudd looks likely to be dumped as Prime Minister, as factional bosses and unions desert him
for deputy Julia Gillard

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: And now how did this extraordinary night unfold?

We go to Dana Robertson who sets the scene in Parliament House.

DANA ROBERTSON, REPORTER: The gloss has gone from Kevin Rudd. He's so shop soiled right wing
factional bosses, Mark Arbib and David Feeney, have started to plot against him.

The numbers were originally being counted without Julia Gillard's blessing. But the leadership move
came to a head when Miss Gillard and John Faulkner went to the Prime Minister's office tonight for
what turned out to be a very long meeting.

It's a near fatal blow for the Prime Minister who was unassailable for more than two years. What
started out as a half hearted overthrow several weeks ago has quietly gathered steam. It played at
such senior levels that many backbenchers appeared oblivious.

FEMALE REPORTER (VOICE): Belinda are you hearing that powerbrokers are counting the numbers on
Julia Gillard's behalf this evening?

BELINDA NEAL, LABOR MP: No I haven't heard that actually.

LAURIE FERGUSON, LABOR MP: I don't know who they are but I think the ABC knows more than the rest
of the Parliamentary Caucus.

DANA ROBERTSON: But they acknowledge a mood shift in Caucus.

DICK ADAMS, LABOR MP: There's no doubt there's a bit of unease because of how many things are out
there I think. There's always those people that wanna look within the Government of how they can
improve themselves or whatever.

BELINDA NEAL: There were concerns about the polls, I mean obviously we wouldn't be human if we
weren't concerned about that, but I think we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

DUNCAN KERR, LABOR MP: Of course any leadership challenge is inherently destabilising.

DANA ROBERTSON: The day's extraordinary events had happened behind a facade of normality. Although
as Kevin Rudd tried to be a statesman there were questions about whether his chief of staff,
Alistair Jordan, had been shoring up his base.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: Those are the sorts of conversations which happen everyday and have
done so ever since I got this job and, frankly, in a slightly different way when I became leader of
the opposition, it's just situation normal.

DANA ROBERTSON: And Cabinet ministers were also forced to answer the awkward questions.

MALE REPORTER (VOICE): Is there any circumstance under which you would tap the Prime Minister on
the shoulder before the election?

JOHN FAULKNER, DEFENCE MINISTER: No

STEPHEN SMITH, FOREIGN MINISTER: And as a younger statesman, no.

DANA ROBERTSON: It's not tapping now, more like a death knock.

Dana Robertson, Lateline.