Following Mark Latham’s resignation as leader of the ALP earlier in the day, former leader Kim Beazley announced his intention to contest the caucus ballot for the position.
Beazley said there was a desire for unity, stability and experience in the ALP. Whilst he didn’t think these circumstances would arise, he said he was “absolutely fired with ambition for the nation”. He said he had learned anew “the value of my colleagues” and he would be a different leader from before. Beazley served as ALP between 1996 and 2001, taking the ALP to defeats in the 1998 and 2001 federal elections.
Beazley said he was deeply saddened by Latham’s resignation statement. He described Latham as a man of “considerable ability and great talent”.
Speaking from overseas, Foreign Affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said: “In the period ahead I’ll be consulting with my colleagues on the future.” He also paid tribute to Latham, saying it had been a difficult day for him.
Deputy Leader Jenny Macklin announced that the Caucus ballot for the leadership would be held at 9am on January 28. She would be Acting Leader until that time but would not contest the leadership ballot.
- Listen to Kim Beazley’s announcement (32m)
- Listen to Kevin Rudd (1m)
- Listen to Jenny Macklin (1m)