News

Rudd has "Buckley's" of retaking leadership: Tony Windsor

CHIEF government whip Joel Fitzgibbon says Labor powerbrokers are not counting numbers despite heightening leadership speculation in Canberra.

But in a frank interview with Fairfax on Wednesday, Mr Fitzgibbon conceded nervous caucus members were talking about the leadership and Labor's electoral fortunes.

"It would be silly to tell people watching your program there's nothing going on," Mr Fitzgibbon told Breaking Politics host Tim Lester.

"Obviously, internally, people are looking at the polls and they're expressing concerns about the future of the government and, indeed, the party and you'll get conversations and those conversations are, unfortunately, making their way into the media.

"We should keep them internal."

Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor's poor showing in just about every opinion poll was causing "unrest" in the caucus, particularly among MPs in marginal seats.

But he said it was nothing more than speculation at this stage, and had seen nothing that would suggest there was going to be a change of leadership this week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd were noticeable absentees at a breakfast function in Parliament House this morning.

Indigenous Employment Minister Julie Collins apologised for Ms Gillard's no-show at the Generation One event, saying she had been "delayed".

A spokesman for Mr Rudd told APN Newsdesk he had decided on Tuesday not to attend.

"Our office advised the organisers yesterday that Mr Rudd would no longer be attending as he wanted to ensure the focus was, appropriately, on the great work that Generation One are doing," the spokesman said.

"Mr Rudd is meeting with Mr Forrest to discuss Generation One today."

Ms Gillard's office told News Limited she had planned to "pop in" but it had become "too busy".

Meanwhile, key independent Tony Windsor said Labor risked losing his support if dumped Ms Gillard as leader.

Mr Windsor and fellow independent Rob Oakeshott helped Ms Gillard form government in the wake of the 2010 election by guaranteeing confidence and supply.

"The document is not transferable," Mr Windsor told Sky News.

He said the PM had succeeded in maintaining the Parliament and providing stable government.

"If the Labor Party don't think she's done that and want to make their changes they're quite entitled to do that. But they can't expect me to be some sort of fellow traveller while they work out their stability and instability issues."

He predicted Mr Rudd, who was unceremoniously dumped as Labor leader in June 2010, had "Buckley's" of retaking the leadership.

Topics:  australian labor party, federal election 2013, joel fitzgibbon, julia gillard, kevin rudd, labor


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

DOUBT: Andrew Antoniolli, Paul Pisasale and Paul Tully announce the lagoon project in February.

Councillors’ election promise to deliver CBD project questioned

Images of our shameful past

FOUND: Wade Thompson and Henry Thompson Jr at the Deebing Creek Mission Cemetery.

Images of our shameful past

Show out to deliver the thrills

The Safari Zoo is expected to be a big attraction for the kids.

Show out to deliver the thrills s

Latest deals and offers

Low IQ spares convicted child abuser time behind bars

A CONVICTED child sex offender has escaped serving time behind bars because he is not intelligent enough for prison.

Bomb squad now in possession of suspicious device

Fragments of a suspicious device that were found underneath a park bench in an Ipswich park this morning.

Device is a "magnet attached to...small, cylindrical metal object"

Sex 'predator' hid upskirt footage in a sock

New Zealand national used videos to satisfy his sexual urges

One in hospital for smoke inhalation

photo Lea Emery / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Emergency crews were called to the site shortly after 2am

OPINION: Tough choices for our young Y10 students

Deciding on your future can be hard

Allison Baden-Clay would want you to show kindness

The late Allison Baden-Clay.

Day honours the late Allison Baden-Clay

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles