Veteran ALP spin doctor Bruce Hawker has admitted he's unlikely to work on Labor's next federal election campaign after playing a starring role in Kevin Rudd's disastrous leadership challenge.
Over the weekend, Hawker publicly advised Julia Gillard not to run in Monday's leadership ballot as she did not have the support of the Australian people. He also warned that Labor could be out of power for a generation unless it returns to Rudd.
He told Fairfax yesterday that working on the 2013 election campaign would "probably be a challenge for everyone".
Hawker, profiled earlier this month as one of the country's most influential spinners, has worked on almost every ALP state and federal election campaign for the past 15 years.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh yesterday said she expected Hawker, who took a sabbatical to advise Rudd on his leadership tilt, to return to her campaign team later this week.
Hawker took to Twitter on Sunday to rebut claims made by Insiders host Barrie Cassidy and others that he is a paid lobbyist. Hawker took himself off the lobbyists register in May 2010 and sold out of government relations firm Hawker Britton later that year. He said he is not being paid for advising Kevin Rudd – a decision he admits has been a career-limiting move.
In 2011, Hawker set up Campaigns and Communications to provide advice to political parties and corporations. So far, he's done little work for the commercial sector. While Gillard remains in office, it'll be the same story in Canberra.
He's had little sway in Canberra since Rudd's demise and has previously admitted the transition to Gillard was "challenging" for him.