Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces the hard task of rebuilding the Labor party following yesterday’s crippling leadership crisis.
The debacle has put an end to Kevin Rudd’s claim on the prime ministership and resulted in the self-inflicted downfall of another former Labor leader, Simon Crean.
The Prime Minister said she was surprised Mr Rudd didn’t challenge her after she called the spill yesterday, but welcomed his decision not to stand as signalling the end of the leadership issue.
”I was a bit surprised given all of the build-up, that Kevin didn’t stand, but having chosen not to stand that does underline that this is all definitely over,” she told Today FM radio this morning.
Ms Gillard sacked Mr Crean just before question time; other Rudd supporters followed. Frontbencher and parliamentary secretary Richard Marles resigned last night and Chris Bowen (who was tertiary education minister) joined him this morning.
In a press conference at Parliament House Mr Bowen said he had decided “the best thing for the Labor Party and for Australia would be for Kevin Rudd to return to the prime ministership”.
”I completely respect the decision that other ministers may reach,” he said.
Ms Gillard, who has to reshuffle her cabinet after the carnage, believes her cabinet ministers will reconsider their positions after recent events. “I anticipate there will be a few more people considering their position,” she told ABC radio in Melbourne. – Kaycee Jane Shingles-Moore
Photo of Julia Gillard at Rooty Hill RSL from Troy Constable photography’s Flickr photostream.