LATHAM WINS ALP LEADERSHIP 47-45

RUNGS OF OPPORTUNITY: LATHAM OUTLINES HIS LABOR PHILOSOPHY

Latham12.30pm – The new Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has expressed his belief in an upwardly mobile society where people can climb the “ladder of opportunity”. Addressing the media in his first appearance since defeating Kim Beazley by 47 votes to 45, the Labor leader said he wanted the former leader, Simon Crean, to remain on the front bench. He said he wanted no resignations from the shadow ministry.

Latham returned again and again to the metaphor of the ladder during his first press conference as ALP leader. He said the trouble with Australia today was that the Howard government had “removed so many of the rungs”. He emphasised health and education as key policy areas.

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LATHAM AND BEAZLEY TO TALK TO MEDIA SOON

10.15am – Following his narrow 47-45 victory over Kim Beazley, the new leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, Mark Latham, will hold a press conference at 12 noon today. Kim Beazley will hold a press conference at 11.15am.

  • Listen to Caucus secretary Bob Sercombe announce Latham’s victory (3m)
  • Listen to Mark Latham and Julia Gillard as they leave the Caucus room after the ballot (35s)

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LATHAM DEFEATS BEAZLEY: NEW ERA DAWNS FOR ALP

10.03am – The member for Werriwa, Mark Latham, has been elected as the new leader of the Australian Labor Party. Latham defeated Beazley by 47 votes to 45. The new Opposition Leader will take his place in the House of Representatives this afternoon for Question Time, pitting him against Prime Minister John Howard for the first time.

Latham, the member for Gough Whitlam’s old seat in the House of Representatives, has been elected Labor leader on the 31st anniversary of the Whitlam government’s election in 1972.

Latham assumes the leadership by the narrowest of margins, a result certain to be exploited by the government.

It is now expected that Kim Beazley will retire from Parliament at next year’s election.

Latham has been supported by his mentor and former employer, Gough Whitlam, and by former prime minister Paul Keating.

Attention will now turn to the composition of the Shadow Ministry. Latham needs to choose a new shadow Treasurer, the position he has held since June.

Latham is not the first Labor leader to win election by one vote. Gough Whitlam survived a challenge from Jim Cairns in 1968 and the revered former prime minister John Curtin was elected by one vote in 1935.

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LATHAM DEFEATS BEAZLEY: UNCONFIRMED REPORTS

10.00am – Sky News is reporting that Mark Latham has defeated Kim Beazley for the ALP leadership.

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