Kevin Rudd wasn’t the only one to get a reminder Saturday that Labor doesn’t want to be known as the party of Christmas parties.
Providing photographic evidence on Twitter is Australia’s former minister for foreign affairs, turned political activist, Kevin Rudd, who disputed his own claim that he had “no evidence” of Labor’s so-called “Santa Bingo” calendars.
During his time as Australia’s prime minister, Rudd told Sydney radio host Ray Hadley that Labor had booked a party for Santa to appear at the party, but decided to cancel when he learned the event would coincide with his criticism of his party leader’s state-sanctioned Christmas celebrations.
Rudd was referring to the Christmas decorations installed this year in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s office in question to a photo of him with Santa and a Christmastime kettle he tweeted.
“What are you going to do for an attack party with a Santa and a Christmas kettle!” Rudd questioned.
The Opposition Leader fired back: “A Christmas kettle is the last thing anyone in Australia needs.”
But no one in the history of Australian politics had ever put up a Santa that big — until Saturday when Douglas Chalk, a Rudd-appointed minister in the Labor government, shared photos online claiming he had evidence of Labor’s Christmas party.
Chalk said photos showed a Christmas party being held for “50 Labor kids.”
He went on to claim that the party was held at the house of former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke.
Hawke was responsible for making national holidays on Christmas Eve, Australia Day and Good Friday official national holidays — but still does not have a headstone for his grandparents’ memorial garden, Chalk added.
Asked for comment by Fairfax Media, Rudd dismissed Chalk’s story as a “fabrication.”
“I’ve never seen this claim before, it never happened, it’s ridiculous, it’s grossly untrue,” Rudd said, stressing his claim was based on “hinting.”
Hawke has long denied he had a Christmas party at his Canberra residence.
Olympic bronze-medalist and Australian rugby league player Darren Lockyer, who’s considered one of the country’s greatest, had much less fun in Fairfax Media’s reporting.
A photo shared by Manning River Times of a garden design “festival,” which Lockyer was once part of, wasn’t a competition to design a Christmas tree, he confirmed, but a competition to design a holiday display for a local garden club’s Christmas competition.
“Well that garden club paid me $400 a month to work for them,” Lockyer said, when asked about the photo.