Kevin Rudd will not be winding back his frequent public appearances, saying he has a role to play in helping his Labor colleagues campaign to retain their seats.
''I will continue doing what I do in response to the interests of local members,'' Mr Rudd told Fairfax Radio on Thursday morning.
With a heavy recent schedule of media appearances around Australia, Mr Rudd has been accused of undermining Julia Gillard's authority and further damaging her chances for re-election.
Mr Rudd said if he worried about such criticisms he would never leave the house in the morning. He would continue making judgments about where his contributions would be helpful and proceed on that basis.
He said the reason that he was campaigning so vigorously was because the government had good messages to sell and his Labor colleagues were seeking his help. Mr Rudd said about 20 or 30 Labor members or candidates had invited him to campaign for them.
Asked whether he would allow himself to be drafted for his party's leadership, Mr Rudd said: ''I've said I won't challenge, I mean that, on the so-called draft that you've just referred to, I support the Prime Minister going through to the next election, all other members of the caucus support the Prime Minister going through to the next election, the issue of a draft doesn't arise.''
''The bottom line is this,'' Mr Rudd said, ''I will be doing my bit in the general media where appropriate . . . supporting local members and local candidates, selling the message of the government's achievements.''
More to come