Kevin Rudd called UN chief Ban Ki-moon 'Spanky Banky', claims book

Kevin Rudd called UN chief Ban Ki-moon 'Spanky Banky', claims book

In his book 'Party Thieves', ABC TV's Barrie Cassidy has written that Rudd told a group of journalists that "in the office, we call him Spanky Banky!," referring to Ban, the South Korean-origin UN chief.

"Spanky Banky? That would be the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the first person that Rudd formally approached about a job when he lost the one he had," Cassidy wrote in the book, published by Melbourne University Press and released today.
"It was yet another of those juvenile and totally inappropriate remarks that so often left those around him wondering what he'd done with all that diplomatic training."
Rudd was immediately not available for Cassidy's claims that he referred to the UN secretary general as Spanky Banky.

Rudd, the former Prime Minister ousted by his deputy Julia Gillard recently, also demanded the man he replaced as Labor leader, Kim Beazley, who is now a US ambassador, organise meetings for him after he was dumped as premier.
These included talks with US Secretary of State Hilllary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban, The Australian reported.

"It was this second meeting - clearly designed to illicit (sic) a job that had some journalists more than mildly amused, namely those privy to a private encounter in Japan two years earlier," Cassidy said.

After chatting to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a corridor, which Rudd refers to as "the summit holding pen", the Chinese President Hu Jintao approaches.Caught without his interpreter, Rudd a fluent Mandarin speaker steps in to translate.

Recounting the tale that night, the then Prime Minister was "stoked" according to Cassidy and tells "gobsmacked" journalists that the UN secretary was so impressed he approached him to discuss food security.

In the book, Cassidy also revealed that Gillard, Wayne Swan, Karl Bitar, Rudd and Mark Arbib all but agreed on an early election at a roundtable discussion shortly after the collapse of Copenhagen talks but the then Prime Minister changed his mind without telling his colleagues.