Former Australian PM postpones 'assassination party'

Monday 20 June 2011 15.36
Kevin Rudd & Julia Gillard - Pair reportedly have a 'frosty' relationship
Kevin Rudd & Julia Gillard - Pair reportedly have a 'frosty' relationship

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today called off a so-called 'assassination' party to mark the one-year anniversary of his ousting as prime minister by Julia Gillard.

Ms Gillard led a backroom coup which brutally dumped Mr Rudd in June 2010. He was subsequently appointed foreign minister but the pair reportedly have an icy relationship.

Mr Rudd himself dubbed his ousting as 'Assassination Day' and he was due to hold a party for his loyal staff and friends marking the event this week.

But after a series of recent interviews that have angered some party members, his wife Therese Rein tweeted that they will hold it at a later and quieter time.

'Well, I thought it would be nice to honour a promise made last June to have K's former and current staff over to say thank you,' Ms Rein said.

'But, given that it seems to be turning into something of a media event, Kevin and I have decided to postpone it.

'We will hold (it) a bit later on so we can catch up with our friends and thank these terrific people properly.'

As the 24 June anniversary of Ms Gillard's rise to power approaches, a Nielsen poll on Saturday showed support for her Labor party at 27% - the lowest first-preference share for a major party in the poll's 39-year history.

Speculation is rife that Mr Rudd wants his old job back.

Yet despite the same poll of 1,400 voters showing 60% prefer him as leader to Ms Gillard's 31%, he continues to play down his ambitions.

Asked whether he was plotting a comeback by the Sun-Herald on Sunday, Rudd said: 'Nice try.'

'I am set on being the best foreign minister I can be. But nice try.'