Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Inga Williams

Howes claims Gillard still best choice to lead Labor party

ONE of the "faceless men" credited with ending Kevin Rudd's time in The Lodge says Julia Gillard remains the best person to lead Labor to the election.

Australian Workers' Union national secretary Paul Howes, in an interview on Sky News, called on the ALP caucus to unite behind Ms Gillard.

"Absolutely" was Mr Howes' response when asked if the AWU continued to support Ms Gillard's leadership.

"We believe in the Gillard government. Our members understand the importance of uniting behind the Gillard government," Mr Howes said.

"Despite all of the speculation going on ... it's clear to me the movement remains united behind the Prime Minister's leadership.

"The labour movement's best chance is to unite behind the Gillard government."

Mr Howes was seeking to dispel speculation the AWU's support for Ms Gillard was waning.

He again denied having ever directed AWU-affiliated members of the Labor caucus how to vote in leadership ballots.

But Mr Howes also confirmed he had spoken with Bill Shorten about the leadership during conversations about a range of issues.