Defiant Gillard vows to stay despite failed asylum plan

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The Independent Online

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, defended her job yesterday after newspapers reported rifts over her leadership and a failed plan on asylum seekers.

A High Court ruling on Wednesday thwarted Ms Gillard's plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in a policy aimed at deterring others from journeying to Australia. The ruling is a major blow to the credibility of the ruling Labor Party, which was already plumbing record lows in opinion polls.

Anonymous government sources told newspapers that Ms Gillard could soon be overthrown in an internal coup. But Ms Gillard told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio that none of her colleagues had raised any frustrations about her leadership with her. "I'm not going anywhere," Ms Gillard said. "I'm the best person to do this job and I'll continue to do it."

Poor poll ratings led Labor to dump the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in favour of Ms Gillard in June last year. But the ratings have worsened under Ms Gillard.