Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has shrugged off suggestions that he ghostwrote ex-MP Maxine McKew's tell-all political book, saying the claim 'verges on sexism'.
The denial came after Ms McKew, who at the 2010 election lost the Sydney seat of Bennelong which three years earlier she'd captured from then prime minister John Howard, also rejected claims Mr Rudd had ghostwritten her book Tales From The Trenches.
'For anyone to accuse a prominent journalist such as Ms McKew of not being able to write her own book I think verges on sexism,' Mr Rudd told reporters on Sunday after giving a speech in Mandarin at a Chinese cultural event in Sydney.
In her book, Ms McKew accuses Prime Minister Julia Gillard of manufacturing a leadership crisis in the ALP before challenging Mr Rudd for the Labor leadership in 2010.
She also says Ms Gillard's office launched an 'offensive and sexist' smear campaign against her that included leaking confidential correspondence.
On Sunday, Mr Rudd refused to comment on speculation that he was considering another tilt at the ALP leadership.
He also denied that he had attended the Chong Yeung celebrations in Sydney's west on Sunday simply to upstage Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who was also at the cultural event.