Profane video stokes Gillard's tensions

Profane video stokes Gillard's tensions

Leadership tensions within Australia’s ruling Labor party erupted on Sunday with the release of a video showing ex-prime minister Kevin Rudd on an expletive-ridden rant about a Chinese interpreter.

The two-minute video, uploaded onto YouTube by a user called “HappyVegemiteKR”, shows an irate Rudd trying to record a message in Mandarin and railing against the “dickhead in the embassy” who wrote the text.

“This f****g language, he just complicates it so much. How can anyone do this?” Rudd, a former diplomat who speaks Mandarin, shouts as he slams his fist on the table in front of him.

Rudd was ousted as leader in a shock party coup in June 2010 by his deputy, Julia Gillard, who scraped back into power at elections and is now badly lagging in the polls.

Speculation has intensified in recent weeks that Rudd, currently Australia’s foreign minister, is preparing to challenge for the top job.

He denied this but said a suspicious person would question the “unusual” timing of the video’s release, given that it was shot several years ago when he was still prime minister.

Gillard admitted the leadership tensions were hurting her government. She deflected questions about her leadership and said it was an “incredible privilege” to lead the country.