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Sky News commentator Peta Credlin apologises to Kevin Rudd for spreading misinformation

Peta Credlin has apologised to Kevin Rudd after claiming that his petition for a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media monopoly was harvesting data.

Sky News commentator Peta Credlin has apologised to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd after falsely claiming that his petition for a “Royal Commission to ensure a strong, diverse Australian news media” was a “data harvesting exercise.”

With an overly solemn tone, Peta went on air this week to say that her initial claims were “false.”

Kevin Rudd - Credlin
Photo: SBS News

“On November 11 last year, while commenting on former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s petition to the house of representatives … I said the petition was a data harvesting exercise and that Mr Rudd now had more than half a million email addresses to use for his own political purposes,” Credlin said.

“That was false. Mr Rudd did not have access to the email addresses in the petition because they were the property of parliament, nor did he seek them. The misuse of the email addresses as claimed would have been a serious invasion of peoples’ privacy. I apologise to Mr Rudd for any damage caused to him by my false statement.”

Rudd confirmed that the apology, delivered on Credlin’s Monday night show, was part of a defamation settlement. “I’m pleased to say that Murdoch’s Peta Credlin — the Liberal Party mouthpiece masquerading as a journalist — has settled my complaint against her for defamation,” the former Labor leader said on Twitter.

“The terms are confidential, but here’s the on-air apology for her false claims. I’m fortunate to have the resources to take on the Murdoch media. But so many ordinary Australians are targeted by these bullies every day, ruining their lives, and they have no means of fighting back. They abuse their power with impunity and must face a [Royal Commission].”

The battle began in November last year after Rudd’s petition for the investigation reached half a million signatures. Credlin then fired back and accused Rudd of gathering email addresses to “bombard people with hard-left propaganda and urge them to boycott the Murdoch media.”

That same November, Credlin also accused former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of “conniving” with Rudd while also criticising him for allegedly “bringing” the left-leaning Guardian newspaper to Australia – sure Peta.

“I know how these things work, this petition is a data harvesting exercise,” Credlin said on November 11 last year.

“Thanks to this petition … Rudd now has more than half a million email signatures, and you can be sure they’ll be used to bombard people with hard left propaganda and urge them to boycott the Murdoch media.”

Rudd said his lawyers quickly contacted Credlin “demanding an immediate on-air apology for her lies” and at the time responded saying that “the parliamentary petition site simply makes [accessing the email signatures] impossible”.

The petition is currently before Parliament, with Rudd encouraging Australians to continue joining his Royal Commission campaign.