Aussie PM Mocked Over Knitting Toy for Royal Baby

Julia Gillard's team insists kangaroo isn't a publicity stunt
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2013 9:18 AM CDT
Aussie PM Mocked Over Knitting Toy for Royal Baby
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard answers question from guests at China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP) in Shanghai, China Monday, April 8, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

In a move that is definitely, absolutely, totally not a publicity stunt, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is knitting a kangaroo for the next heir to the British throne, Sky News reports. Gillard discussed the "cute project" for the progeny of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the new issue of Australian Women's Weekly, which came complete with photos showing Gillard surrounded by yarn. "In terms of knitting for Kate's baby—I knit for babies, in part, because they are smaller projects," she explained. Despite the fact that Gillard's press office actually pitched the story to the magazine, the office insists it's not a PR move, but that hasn't stopped people from mocking the PM.

"I'm keen to discuss options for an interview/photoshoot with the PM, ideally for the July edition," reads the email from Gillard's director of communications to the magazine. "As I mentioned the PM is putting together a care package for Kate Middleton, who is due in mid-July. ... I'm picturing a story that includes the patterns for the items the PM will knit so your readers can knit their own royal blanket or something." Critics are calling the article "contrived," among other less-than-nice things, the Guardian reports; the Independent calls it "a public relations disaster." The article conveniently arrives just months before September's general election, which the controversial PM is predicted to lose. Gillard has previously stirred the pot with Sandwichgate and her epic takedown of a sexist rival. (More Julia Gillard stories.)

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