Rudd denies trying to punch diplomat

 

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has quashed an allegation he had to be stopped from punching a Chinese negotiator during a failed climate change summit, as the legend of his temper continues to grow.

The claims were made by his former colleague and British PM Gordon Brown in an article last week in the UK's Guardian newspaper which referenced the failed 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.

 

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has denied threatening to punch a Chinese negotiator during a climate change summit. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has denied threatening to punch a Chinese negotiator during a climate change summit. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

 

"I look back on the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009, when the UK and Europe's enthusiasm for a deal failed to overcome both the reluctance of the US to make legally binding commitments, and the deep suspicion of China, India and the emerging economies of any obligations that they believed might threaten their development," he wrote.

'So determined were they to avoid binding commitments that they rejected Europe's offer to unilaterally bind itself to a 50% cut in its emissions.

"So bitter were the divisions that the Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, who bravely stood out for an ambitious deal, had to be physically restrained from punching the Chinese negotiator."

Mr Rudd denied he had to be restrained.

 

The allegation was made by former British PM Gordon Brown, seen here with Mr Rudd.
The allegation was made by former British PM Gordon Brown, seen here with Mr Rudd.

"No. It didn't happen," he said.

"I've always made a point of leaving the shirtfronting to Tony Abbott.

"The bottom line is that I was vigorously prosecuting Australia's climate interests at a time when China was aggressively resisting. I make no apologies for doing so."

It is not the first time Mr Rudd's behaviour at the conference has come under questioning, with reported he described the Chinese as "ratf**kers" after the negotiations.

Mr Rudd reportedly remarked to a group of journalists and aides during the December 2009 summit that: "Those Chinese f**kers are trying to rat-f**k us."

An expletive-laden video of Mr Rudd was also leaked in 2012 losing his cool over a script in Mandarin.

 

 

"You can tell these d***heads in the embassy to just give me simple sentences. I've said this before," Mr Rudd says.

"Tell that bloody interpreter. This f***ing language just complicates it so much, you know. How can anyone do this."

In 2009 he was forced to apologise to a 23-year-old RAAF cabin attendant after he berated her after his meat-free meal was not available.

The incident happened during the VIP flight to Canberra following the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby.

"All of us are human, I'm human, I'm not perfect," he said.

"If I upset anybody on that particular flight, I'm sorry, I apologise for it.

"We all make mistakes, your Prime Minister included."

 

Mr Rudd has had several public outbursts.
Mr Rudd has had several public outbursts.

 

In another fiery food episode in June 2008, Mr Rudd is said to have become "extremely irritated" when the only food on offer was fresh, gourmet sandwiches - rather than a hot meal.

It wasn't only poor food options that could send the former PM into a frenzy.

Never one to shy away from a photo opportunity, Mr Rudd reportedly "threw a wobbly" in Afghanistan in 2009 when a hairdryer could not be located before a photo opportunity.

The PM rejected the claims as "laughable" at the time.

Originally published as Rudd denies trying to punch diplomat



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