Kevin Rudd has pilloried Tony Abbott as a toxic influence on the national political landscape who doesn’t care a whit about policy.
The extraordinary spray by one former prime minister against another was made in an opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday in the wake of last week’s Liberal leadership crisis in Canberra.
“Abbott has never cared about policy. He has only cared about politics and winning at any cost. I cannot remember a single positive policy initiative that Abbott has championed and then implemented,” Mr Rudd said.
“The entire energies of this giant wrecking ball of Australian policies has been focused on destroying his opponents within the Labor party and the Liberal party”.
Mr Abbott’s “unique negativity, toxicity and hatred” could not be underestimated, the ex-Labor leader continued.
Both Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott were ousted as prime minister by their parties before they had finished their first terms. Mr Rudd was ejected by Julia Gillard and Mr Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Abbott was last week accused of being a “wrecker” by fellow Liberal MPs for laying the groundwork for the sudden and successful move by the party’s conservative wing against Mr Turnbull.
Mr Abbott had backed fellow conservative Peter Dutton who lost his chance at the top job when he was overtaken by Scott Morrison, who was sworn in as prime minister on Friday.
Mr Abbott is due to make a speech in Sydney on Monday on population and immigration.