Skip to comments.Kevin Rudd branded a coward as Julia Gillard gags her MPs
Posted on 02/09/2012 1:56:15 PM PST by naturalman1975
THE entire Labor cabinet has been banned from talking to editors of the nation's major newspapers as Prime Minister Julia Gillard moves to stamp out leadership speculation.
Under the gagging order, ministers must seek permission from her office before any meeting or private talks.
The extraordinary move came as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was yesterday accused of being a coward for failing to launch a formal challenge so the party could bury the issue once and for all.
Victorian Labor MP Rob Mitchell, a foot soldier for cabinet minister Bill Shorten, accused Mr Rudd and his supporters of being too gutless to challenge.
"If someone wants to come out of a cowardly hiding and thinks they have the numbers, put up or shut up," he said.
"And when they lose then they and their mates should just go to the backbench and wander off at the next election.
"There is no challenge."
Sources said Ms Gillard issued the gagging order at a cabinet meeting last week.
"For someone who accused Rudd of ruling with an iron fist, it was quite a turnaround," a senior minister said."She has basically told everyone that they can't talk to newspaper editors without her permission."
Another minister, who claimed it simply revealed how fragile the Prime Minister's leadership was, said it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to "set up Rudd" by creating an excuse to sack the former prime minster if he breached the cabinet directive.
Secret documents obtained by Seven News reveal that Ms Gillard this week also rearranged the cabinet room.
Mr Rudd was moved towards the fringe; from three seats to her left to four.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailytelegraph.com.au ...
The same left that pretends to be in favor of tolerance and freedom are the most likely to support and become tyrants