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NZ diplomatic cable alleged to have been leaked

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard

Wellington, July 22 NZPA - The Government is refusing to comment on 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 staff of Ms Gillard 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 said the Government would not comment on the alleged leak.

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