TASMANIAN Kevin Harkins has a “buckley’s and none” chance of entering the Senate, says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
It is the second time the Prime Minister has scotched the Electrical Trades Union secretary’s attempts to enter federal politics.
It followed news that Mr Harkins had been endorsed by the dominant Labor Left faction to contest Senate pre-selection next month.
The move was largely interpreted as payment for “doing the right thing by the party and aborting the race for Franklin amid bitter controversy during the 2007 Federal Election campaign.
Mr Harkins endorsement looked set to relegate sitting member Kerry O’Brien to the undecided third spot on the Labor ticket, behind the Right’s Helen Polley.
The Prime Minister appeared uncomfortable when asked about reports in Question Time yesterday.
He described Mr Harkins as a pugilist who would be better off on the Opposition benches.
He went on to say Mr Harkins had two chances of being part of his Government: “buckley’s and none.
Labor Party pre-selection will be decided next month.