Kevin Rudd has foreshadowed a concerted effort to lift his public profile, declaring it was his job as a Government MP to "make clear the contrast" between Labor and the Tony Abbott-led Opposition.
In his first one-on-one interview since the Labor leadership contest in February, the former prime minister said he would not be silenced in his aim to stop Mr Abbott winning the next election.
While momentum for a return of Mr Rudd as PM has stalled because of improving polls for Labor and Julia Gillard, many Labor MPs expect Rudd forces to begin agitating with a view to a pre-Christmas coup.
But Mr Rudd, speaking from China where he is attending the World Economic Forum, was last night keen to present the image of a team player.
"Of course the Government can prevail against Mr Abbott at the next election and that's why I'm supporting the Government under the Prime Minister's leadership to do so," Mr Rudd told ABC TV's 7.30 program.
"I'm out there arguing the Labor case. I'll do it anywhere and everywhere I can. I do it within various communities across Australia where I am able to make a positive contribution and let me tell you, my voice won't be silenced in the public debate because the issues at stake for Australia are so stark."
Mr Rudd's TV appearance came as Ms Gillard and her family gathered in Adelaide for a private celebration of the life of her father, John Gillard, who died on Saturday aged 83 - a fact that did not go unnoticed by caucus.It is understood 7.30 had a long-standing invitation to Mr Rudd but that the timing of the interview was his choice.
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