You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rudd claims Turnbull support in letters

AAP logoAAP 29/07/2016 Ethan James

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has released three letters, claiming he had the support of Malcolm Turnbull in his quest for the United Nations' top job.

In second of the missives, dated May 1, Mr Rudd says he had multiple verbal assurances from the current prime minister as recently as December supporting his tilt for the secretary-general role.

"You will recall that last September I contacted you asking for guidance on how I should address the matter of your previously stated support to me for my candidature when I met Foreign Minister Bishop at the UN General Assembly," he writes.

"You in fact sent me a message on your preferred Wickr system where you stated that you and the FM were "as one" in your support for my candidature.

"You will also recall I came to see you in your Parliament House office on 11 November last year where we discussed the matter at length. Once again you restated your position of support for my candidature."

Mr Rudd says he then informally "sounded out" governments around the world about his application.

Mr Rudd writes that Mr Turnbull gave further assurances during face-to-face discussions on December 23 in Sydney.

"Once again you stated your support for my candidature. You added that when the time came to lodge my nomination you now wanted to take it to Cabinet to avoid the perception of a "captain's pick"," he writes.

Further in the letter Mr Rudd expresses his shock after receiving a May phone call from Mr Turnbull allegedly retracting support.

"You will understand therefore how shocked I was to receive your telephone call within the last couple of hours, just prior to your taking the matter to Cabinet in Canberra," he writes.

"In your telephone call you said that neither you nor the Cabinet would be supporting my nomination. When I asked the reasons for this, you said that neither you nor the Cabinet has the view that `I had the qualifications for the position'."

The third letter, written on July 28, requests a meeting with Mr Turnbull following his re-election.

"I have been taking soundings from diplomatic missions to the UN in New York, as well as visits to capitals around the world. The feedback thus far has been positive," Mr Rudd writes.

"The Foreign Minister will be in a better position to give you her own read on that. I would also value the opportunity to do that with you as well."

Mr Turnbull on Friday announced the government would not be nominating Mr Rudd because he wasn't suited to the role.

Mr Rudd initially wrote to him on April 4, formally asking the Australian government to nominate him for the position.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon