Chris Bowen has resigned as a minister in the Gillard government.
Bowen was the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and Minister for Small Business. He previously held the post of Immigration Minister.
In the Rudd government, Bowen held the posts of Assistant Treasurer, Financial Services and Competititon Policy.
At a press conference in Canberra this morning, Bowen said he felt that after voting against Prime Minister Julia Gillard once he could not remain in the ministry having opposed her a second time.
Bowen’s resignation follows yesterday’s sacking of Simon Crean and the resignation of Richard Marles. Ed Husic and Janelle Saffin also resigned as assistant whips whilst Joel Fitzgibbon is expected to resign as Chief Whip.
Bowen tweeted: “It was an honour to serve in Cabinet for four years. Thanks for your messages of support.”
- Listen to Bowen’s press conference (23m)
Transcript of Chris Bowen’s press conference.
BOWEN: Morning everybody. Twenty-five years ago, I joined the Australian Labor Party. Every day since then I’ve done what I thought is in the best interests of the Labor Party always.
Yesterday was a difficult day for the Labor Party. On that difficult day, I took the decision that the best thing for the Labor Party and for Australia would be for Kevin Rudd to return to the prime ministership. As you know, I’ve held that view for some time. That’s the way I voted last February. Having expressed that view, having worked towards it, last night after discussing the matter with my wife and close friends, I decided to resign from the Gillard Cabinet. I informed the Prime Minister of this earlier this morning.
I want to stress that other ministers will reach their own conclusion. Other ministers who supported Mr Rudd will reach their own decisions. This is what I regard as the appropriate and honourable decision for me and I completely respect the decision that other ministers may reach.
Being a member of the Cabinet, that group of 20 or so people that makes decisions, that guides a nation of more than 22 million, is a huge honour. A huge honour that hardly anybody as a proportion of the population gets to achieve. Even a small proportion of MPs, aspiring MPs get to sit in a Cabinet room of Australia. I thank Kevin Rudd for appointing me to the Cabinet and I thank Julia Gillard for maintaining me in the Cabinet. [Read more...]