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Mfat looking into leaked cable

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 22 NZPA - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is looking into reports that a confidential diplomatic cable was leaked to an Australian newspaper.

The cable, from the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra to the Government, was obtained by The Australian newspaper.

It was believed to have been sent soon after Julia Gillard rolled Kevin Rudd as leader of the Australian Labor Party, becoming prime minister as a result.

It said Ms Gillard's had not wanted her to offer Mr Rudd a new role when she took over the top job.

"Gillard's staff had not wanted the prime minister to offer her predecessor a new role, least of all the role of minister of foreign affairs."

Mr Rudd had wanted the position, despite having agreed to stand down immediately and not force Ms Gillard to face a ballot for the party leadership, the cable said.

"(Mr Rudd) has apparently conveniently forgotten that a 'deal' struck in advance of the leadership spill was that he would stand down immediately," it said.

The Australian reported the briefing to New Zealand diplomats was seen as an attempt to "delegitimise" Mr Rudd's claim to a cabinet post after the election.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key today told NZPA the Government was aware of the alleged leak.

"We understand it's possible a cable had found its way into the public domain and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is looking into the situation."

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