FORMER prime minister Julia Gillard has hit out at the new rules that govern Labor leadership contests, describing them as "a clumsy attempt" for bad leaders to hold onto power.
Shortly after unseating Ms Gillard, Kevin Rudd introduced reforms which give rank-and-file members a say in the party's choice of leader.
The first contest governed by these rules is underway, with Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese beginning a month-long campaign to win the job of opposition leader.
Under the new rules, the only way to then remove the leader would be for 60 per cent of Caucus members to sign a petition requesting a new election.
But Ms Gillard has written in The Guardian that the new rules represent "exactly the wrong approach", protecting poorly performing incumbents instead of the best candidate.
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