10 Sep 2013

Calls for Rudd to quit parliament

3:04 pm on 10 September 2013

Senior Australian Labor figures are divided over whether Kevin Rudd should leave the parliament entirely as the caucus considers who will be its next leader.

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd. Photo: RNZ

Craig Emerson is the latest former Labor minister call for him to leave, and so far the most vocal.

He describes the former prime minister as a reckless, destabilising force.

Dr Emerson, who quit the ministry and parliament when Mr Rudd returned as prime minister in June, says the former leader has committed "treachery" against every Labor leader he has worked with and should leave.

He has squarely blamed Mr Rudd for the damaging leaks against former prime minister Julia Gillard, which emerged during the 2010 campaign.

The ABC reports it is the first time a senior Labor figure has directly pointed the finger at Mr Rudd over the leaks.

He also accused Mr Rudd of being deceitful when he repeatedly said he would not take the Labor leadership from Ms Gillard.

"That was a lie at the time, it's proved to be a lie," Dr Emerson said.

But not all Labour MPs agree.

Earlier, former treasurer and Rudd loyalist, Chris Bowen, said the party owed Mr Rudd a "debt of gratitude".

Mr Bowen says Mr Rudd prevented what would have been a much worse result if the party had stayed with Julia Gillard as leader.