Gillard asserts Rudd wont run foreign policy alone

Last Updated: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 20:34

Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister
Julia Gillard on Sunday said her former boss Kevin Rudd whom she
toppled will not run the show alone as foreign minister,
asserting that "ultimately, I`m the leader".

Rudd is likely to be a "hands on" foreign minister and
may try to establish a power base from his new portfolio, a
view expressed by the Opposition.

However, Gillard emphasised the role that cabinet, and
herself, would play a major role in drafting foreign policy.

"Obviously it will be run by the government as a
team," she said adding "There will be involvement by the
cabinet. Ultimately of course I`m the leader."

Rudd was appointed yesterday as the foreign minister
in a ministerial reshuffle while the new team is likely to be
sworn-in on Tuesday.

Gillard promised she and Rudd "obviously will be
working together in the interests of the nation".

She also confirmed Rudd would play a lead role in
pushing for an offshore regional centre for asylum seekers,
which is not an approach he supported as leader.

The 48-year-old further said Rudd and new immigration
minister Chris Bowen would drive that proposal of sending
asylum seekers to East Timor.

"Look, I think Kevin Rudd, like me, understands that
it is not in the interests of asylum seekers to risk their
lives at sea and get on a boat," she said.

Gillard appeared keen to emphasise her authority to
all Labour MPs, not just Rudd -- whom she replaced months
earlier after axing him in a sudden and ruthless coup that
stunned the nation and almost cost her ruling Labour party
government at deadlocked August 21 polls.

The former lawyer said she would ask ministers to
speak about their own portfolios and not stray into other
subjects, and would expect MPs not to raise issues publicly.

"Have your say in the room, not outside it," she
counselled.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 20:34

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