The polls are good – but the bruvvers continue to be an embarrassment for Labor leader Kevin Rudd.

Rudd is coming under pressure to intervene to clean up the messes being made by ETU heavy Kevin Harkins in the Tasmanian seat of Franklin – a seat that Labor really shouldn’t have to worry about at the coming poll.

There’s also trouble in his home state, with Liberal operatives pointing to the union background of former emergency services minister Pat Purcell. Purcell’s resignation was announced on Wednesday evening by Premier Peter Beattie, who said the minister had stood down for “personal reasons”.

On Friday, Purcell admitted to verbally abusing members of his staff. News Limited has since reported Mr Purcell was forced to resign after two senior staff claimed he had hit them during a confrontation.

The matter has since been referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Purcell has a solid union background. His Who’s Who entry even tells of his time with the BLF.

Liberal backroom operatives are pushing the obvious buttons.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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