The Prime Minister is understood to have today told parliamentary colleagues that she had been informed by members of the media that some within her ranks had contacted them over the summer, offering “negative assessments” of the government.
Ms Gillard raised the issue of leaks at today’s meeting of the Labor caucus, the first this election year.
The caucus meeting followed today’s poor Newspoll showing, which came in the wake of her surprise decision to name September 14 as the election date and the weekend resignation of two senior ministers.
Caucus sources said Ms Gillard told Labor MPs that journalists had said to her when they came back from leave that “they had a number of messages from people waiting to give negative assessments”.
Ms Gillard is then understood to have warned caucus of the importance of unity.
Finance Minister Penny Wong was elected deputy Senate leader.
Ms Gillard said the government’s alleged tactical advantage in setting the election date was very limited, and now the date was known it would give “shape and order” to the year.
The Prime Minister is understood to have been forced to respond to a question from one Labor MP who complained that Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin, who has effectively been dumped by Ms Gillard’s choice of Ms Peris, had been treated unfairly.
Ms Gillard responded by referring to the importance of Labor having an indigenous member of parliament, and by praising Senator Crossin for her work.Source: The Australian – “Julia Gillard accuses Labor MPs of undermining her government”
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