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Cabinet to decide Kevin Rudd's UN fate

AAP logoAAP 28/07/2016

If federal cabinet backs Kevin Rudd's nomination to lead the United Nations it would be indirectly supporting him, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes.

The issue will be up for discussion when cabinet ministers gather in Canberra on Thursday, but Mr Turnbull insists it's not high on the agenda.

He agreed with Alan Jones on 2GB radio that a nomination was a sign of indirect support, but refused to say which way cabinet will sway.

Mr Turnbull's views are at odds with his foreign minister.

Federal cabinet will today decide whether or not to back Kevin Rudd's nomination to lead the United Nations. © AAP Image/Dan Peled Federal cabinet will today decide whether or not to back Kevin Rudd's nomination to lead the United Nations. Julie Bishop told a meeting of coalition MPs in Canberra cabinet would decide whether to support his nomination, but it wouldn't be an endorsement.

She has since said Mr Rudd is "qualified" to be a candidate, given he is a former prime minister.

Some of Ms Bishop's colleagues have been less enthusiastic, with Treasurer Scott Morrison reminding Labor it didn't help Peter Costello when he was interested in a role with the International Monetary Fund.

Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers urged cabinet to make a hard-headed decision and assessment of the national interest.

"Anything short of a full endorsement of an Australian to run the UN out of cabinet today would be a victory for petty, undergraduate politics and the hard right," he told Sky News.

But veteran Liberal Eric Abetz is hoping cabinet will not back Mr Rudd, citing past Labor assessments of the former leader as "narcissist, a micro-manager, an impulsive control freak and a psychopath".

"Any cursory glance at Mr Rudd's temperament and capacity would show that Mr Rudd is poorly qualified for this role," Senator Abetz said in a statement.

"If Australia were to seek to inflict Kevin Rudd onto the United Nations, it would be a mistake."

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