Rudd aids McKew in Bennelong

Deposed prime minister Kevin Rudd has been helping Labor star Maxine McKew win over the Chinese community in her marginal Sydney seat of Bennelong.


Ms McKew unseated former Liberal prime minister John Howard at the 2007 election, holding the seat with a margin of just 1.4 per cent.

The Mandarin-speaking Mr Rudd joined Ms McKew for a meet-and-greet with pupils, parents and teachers at Saturday morning Chinese language classes at Eastwood Public School.

A spokeswoman for Ms McKew told AAP the primary school pupils sang songs in Mandarin for the Labor pair.

“They were both warmly received,” she said.

She said Mr Rudd spoke to them in Mandarin about his 20-year friendship with Ms McKew and her hard work as a local MP.

The duo then walked through the Eastwood Mall, greeting shoppers before tucking into Yum Cha with local Chinese community leaders at the Kings Restaurant.

She said the lunch was informal, low-key and he did not give a speech.

Only local Chinese-language media were invited to report on the campaign event.

In early August, three days after being discharged from hospital after a gall bladder operation, Mr Rudd announced he would campaign for his successor Julia Gillard to ensure Labor is re-elected at the August 21 poll.

He has since campaigned alongside Labor candidate for Herbert, Tony Mooney, in Townsville.

During that visit he became the first person who had held the prime minister’s office to visit the indigenous community of Palm Island.

Since then, he has campaigned in the electorates of Moreton, Flynn, Bonner and Longman.

A spokesman for Mr Rudd said he would return to Brisbane on Saturday.

The Labor Party will have its election campaign launch in Brisbane on Monday.

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