Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has responded to reports that he had staffers stand in for him at Cabinet’s National Security Committee, saying that he attended all “critical” meetings.
Friends of the ex-leader say that after losing the top job in June, he’s finally had the time to focus on what he loves doing best: not attending Cabinet committees.
Mr Rudd maintains that he did attend “critical” meetings, and his staff have confirmed that since the media got hold of the story, all his meetings have indeed become a lot more critical.
ABC News 24 reports that influential young chief of staff Alistair Jordan would attend key meetings on the Prime Minister’s behalf. Mr Jordan courted criticism after delegating the job to his bright yet clearly unready protégé, Kevin Rudd.
For her part, Prime Minister Julia Gillard is standing by her predecessor, saying that after the election he’ll be offered fresh opportunities to not attend meetings.