The newly elected member for Batman, former senator David Feeney, has taken charge of Bill Shorten's campaign for the Labor leadership, pitting him against key South Australian MP Mark Butler in a friendly war for the future of the party.

Feeney acted as Shorten's delegate in negotiations with the National Executive over the campaign rules, which is beginning to ratchet up after the national Right moved to bind supporters in an old-fashioned lockdown, while Butler is hitting the phones for Left-aligned rival Anthony Albanese around the country.