Julia Gillard says she went out of her way to prop up Kevin Rudd when he was prime minister. Picture: Channel Nine Julia Gillard says she promised to make Kevin Rudd foreign minister in order to stop damaging leaks that were destabilising her campaign in the 2010 election.
‘‘I had no choice,’’ Australia’s first female prime minister told Ray Martin in a Nine Network interview broadcast on Tuesday night.
‘‘I had to stop the leaks and it was made abundantly clear to me that the kinds of things we’d seen with the leaks to (journalist) Laurie Oakes were just going to keep happening.’’
After the promise, ‘‘there were no further leaks’’.
Ms Gillard, who is spruiking her book My Story, which will be released on Wednesday, spoke emotionally of her relations with Mr Rudd, whom she displaced as prime minister shortly before the 2010 election.
Julia Gillard speaks to Ray Martin on Tuesday night. Picture: Channel Nine
‘‘I’d felt I’d done everything I possibly could to help and support and prop up Kevin,’’ she said.
‘‘There had already in the days before (the coup) been some signs that I was being viewed with suspicion and I cried because I felt it was just so unfair.’’
Ms Gillard admitted the image of her was ‘‘the woman who wielded the knife’’ and ‘‘political brutality’’.
But during her conversation with Mr Rudd the night before the coup, she’d been hesitant.
Their conversation went for too long and she’d ‘‘fed hope’’, which she shouldn’t have done.
After the 2010 election resulted in a hung parliament, Ms Gillard formed government after negotiating the support of the Greens and most independents.
Asked how she outplayed Tony Abbott, she said: ‘‘I stayed at it. I turned up. I was there every day doing it personally.Tony took a different approach. He went back to Sydney, particularly for the crucial last weekend before government was formed and tended to delegate it to others.’’
After three years and three days Labor turned back to Mr Rudd to ‘‘save the furniture’’ in the 2013 election.
If she’d had a clear run, with no destabilisation and with the Rudd supporters genuinely behind her, she believed she could have out-campaigned Mr Abbott and ‘‘landed us in around about the same spot’’.
Ms Gillard said people should only go into politics ‘‘if you really know why you’re doing it.
‘‘Will it end in tears? Yes, absolutely.‘‘
“The day I finished being prime minister I took a call from Paul Keating who said to me ‘We all get taken out in a box, love’ and never a truer word spoken.’’
Yet she’d do it all again – ‘‘No question, do some things differently but do it all again. Absolutely.’’