Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 12:49 UK

Rudd denies hair-dryer tantrum

The Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called the opposition's allegations laughable

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has fiercely denied throwing "a wobbly" over a hair-dryer.

An opposition MP said the alleged temper tantrum happened when Mr Rudd visited Australian troops in Afghanistan in December 2008.

He said Mr Rudd grew angry when no-one could locate a hair-dryer before a photo opportunity.

Mr Rudd described the allegations as "laughable, ridiculous and completely untrue".

The allegations were made by National Party MP John Cobb, who recently visited Australian troops in Afghanistan.

He said Mr Rudd's short temper was the talk of the barracks.

He told The Australian newspaper: "I can't remember whether it was because somebody forgot to bring one, or because the damn thing did not work ... I mean, these people are engaged in pretty serious occupations and he wanted to blow-dry his hair but couldn't."

Mr Rudd's spokesman accused the opposition of engaging in "gutter politics".

The prime minister, meanwhile, said the allegation was designed to deflect attention away from Mr Cobb's own political problems.

Last month, Mr Rudd had to apologise after it emerged that he had reduced a flight attendant to tears when his preferred meal was unavailable.

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