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10.55pm – The new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and his deputy, Anthony Albanese, have made a brief statement to the media, following their election by the ALP caucus earlier tonight.

Rudd said: “In 2007 the Australian people elected me to be their prime minister. It is a task I resume today.”

  • Watch Rudd (9m)
  • Watch Channel 10 News (10m)

UPDATE – July 27 – Senator Joe Ludwig has announced his resignation from the Cabinet.

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry released this statement:

Statement from Joe Ludwig

I have proudly served as a Labor Minister for six years. The opportunity to serve the labour movement at the highest level has been both humbling and deeply rewarding.

As a member of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Workers’ Union for over thirty years I have committed myself to improving the lot of working people. I am proud of my achievements and the achievements of every Labor government.

When Labor has been in Government, it has been for the benefit of the Australian people. It has been a great honour to have been a part of positive change for the nation.

Acting in good faith to the Party and the elected Labor leadership, I have decided not to serve as a Minister under Mr Rudd’s leadership. I informed the Labor Caucus of my decision this evening.

As a Labor Senator I will continue to work for the people of Queensland and will campaign for the re–election of the Rudd Labor Government.

10.30pm – Greg Combet has announced his resignation from the Cabinet.

The Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation has released this statement:

Statement by the Minister

I congratulate Kevin Rudd on his election as Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party in a caucus ballot tonight.

I have been on the public record calling for Labor’s leadership issue to be resolved once and for all before Parliament rises, so we can unite in the lead up to this year’s federal election campaign.

Accordingly I welcome the resolution of the leadership of the Labor Party.

It is now important that Mr Rudd has a clear opportunity to argue Labor’s case and to appoint his own team to take up the fight to Tony Abbott.

It is well known that I have been a strong supporter of Julia Gillard.

In the circumstances, I believe it is appropriate that I resign from my position as Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation.

This is the right thing to do.

I would like to express my appreciation to Ms Gillard for the opportunity she gave me to serve as a Cabinet Minister in her Government, particularly in such an important portfolio.

10.25pm – Trade Minister Craig Emerson has announced his resignation from the Cabinet.

Emerson released this statement tonight:

Tonight I am resigning my Ministerial positions and will not contest the 2013 Federal Election.

It has been a wonderful privilege to have been a Cabinet Minister in the Gillard Labor Government.

Julia Gillard has been a great reforming Prime Minister in the great Labor tradition. I owe her a big debt of gratitude for putting her confidence in me and entrusting me with responsibilities that are so important to Australia’s future.

Julia Gillard has shown enormous courage in implementing landmark Labor reforms that will be remembered for generations to come. They include putting a price on carbon, opening the gates of our universities to disadvantaged Australians, introducing the National Disability Insurance Scheme and deepening Australia’s engagement with Asia, as set out in the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

I hope Julia’s needs-based policy for our schools endures so that every child can receive a quality education.

I wish Kevin Rudd and his team all the very best, and I will do whatever I can to ensure the re-election of the Labor Government.

To the people of Rankin, thank you for the trust you have placed in me for five Parliamentary terms. I hope I have served you well and I will continue working for you until the writs for the Federal Election are issued.

10.22pm – The front page of tomorrow’s Brisbane Courier-Mail newspaper.

Apparently there was a football match tonight.


10.15pm – Julia Gillard has left Government House.

Assuming usual practice, Gillard has surrendered her commission. She will remain Prime Minister until the moment the Governor-General officially accepts her resignation and swears in Kevin Rudd. This will probably be tomorrow.

9.43pm – Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have made concession statements following Kevin Rudd’s election as leader of the ALP.

Gillard confirmed she would not contest her seat of Lalor at the election. Swan said he will recontest Lilley.

Gillard is now at Government House surrendering her commission to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. It is not clear when Kevin Rudd will be sworn in as prime minister.

Transcript of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s concession statement.

As you would probably be aware by now, Kevin Rudd has been elected as leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. I congratulate Mr Rudd on his election.

In view of his election I have written to the Governor-General asking her to commission Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia.

I will shortly leave from this Parliament to see the Governor-General on this matter.

In accordance with the pledge I gave earlier today, I announce that I will not recontest the federal electorate of Lalor at the forthcoming Federal Election.

I will have time in the coming weeks to be back home in my electorate and to say hello and goodbye to the community that I’ve had the absolute privilege of representing in this parliament since 1998.

So I will keep comments about my electorate until that time.

Three years ago I had the very great honour of being elected as Labor leader. It followed having the honour of being elected as Deputy Leader and Deputy Prime Minister following the 2007 election.

This privilege was truly humbling, I thank the Australian Labor Party ofr that privilege and I thank the Australian people for their support.

When I first put myself forward for consideration as Labor leader in 2010, I had the overwhelming support of my colleagues to do so. I thank them for that.

And I thank them for giving the opportunity to me not only to serve the nation, but to serve as the first female Prime Minister of this country.

In the years in which I have served as Prime Minister, predominantly I have faced a minority Parliament and I have also faced internal division within my political party. It has not been an easy environment to work in.

But I am pleased that in this environment, which wasn’t easy, I have prevailed to ensure that this country is made stronger and smarter and fairer for the future.

I am very proud of what this Government has achieved, which will endure for the long term.

Very proud of the way in which we achieved health reform against the odds with newly elected conservative leaders.

Very pleased that we pushed through and put a price on carbon, an historic reform that will serve this nation well and which required us to have the guts and tenacity to stare down one of the most reckless fear campaigns in this nation’s history.

What we have achieved through DisabilityCare, to launch on 1 July this year, apparently an obvious reform to everyone now, but something that it took this Labor Government to get done and I am very proud of it.

I am very proud too of the work that we have done in Australian schools. Today we passed the legislation which means 60 per cent of school children are covered by our new reforms.

But this great Labor mission must be concluded not only in the days that remain to 30 June, but in the days beyond by Labor winning the Federal Election.

It has been the defining passion of my life that every Australian child gets a great opportunity at a life of work and the dignity that comes with work, gets a great opportunity for the education that they should have and that reform is almost completed and it needs to be part of the continuing Labor project to get it done.

I’m also very proud of having commenced the Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings.

This Royal Commission is now working its way around the country. I believe it will have many years of work in front of it, but it will change the nation.

It will change individual lives, as people get to come forward and tell their story. It will change the nation because we will learn how to better protect our children for the future.

I’m also very proud of the foreign policy achievements of this Government. Things people said couldn’t be done, we have done; particularly we have strengthened both alliance with the United States while taking a major stride forward in our relationship with China.

I’m very pleased, too, that we have taken big strides forward in other relationships, including our relationship with India.

I am confident that I leave the prime ministership having strengthened the relationship with our major partners, every one of them.

I also believe that the work we have done in Afghanistan is something to be proud of as an Australian nation.

One of the things that has most delighted me as Prime Minister and before that as Deputy Prime Minister has been getting to know our Defence Force personnel.

I can’t claim that I came out of opposition with any great experience in Defence, or any great exposure to Australian Defence Force personnel.

Now I have had both experience in Defence and that exposure, and whilst there are issues to address in our Defence Force about the treatment of women, overwhelmingly the men and women of our ADF are great Australians and getting to know them has been a real privilege.

I have, either as Prime Minister or as Acting Prime Minister, attended 24 funerals for soldiers lost in Afghanistan.

I am very aware of the courage and the sacrifice and part of being Prime Minister has been being there for those families in their darkest moments.

My colleagues through all of this journey have provided me with great support, and I want to thank them for that great support.

They defied political gravity time after time to provide me with more support as leader of the Labor Party.

When the going got incredibly tough, when all of those that read polls and do the commentary on them were saying that there was only one logical conclusion, and that was to change the leader, my colleagues showed courage, they showed determination, they showed spine in the face of that kind of pressure.

They showed conviction in our Labor project and in our Labor cause.

They showed belief in the agenda of this Labor Government. I understand that at the caucus meeting today the pressure finally got too great for many of my colleagues. I respect that and I respect the decision that they have made.

But I do say to my caucus colleagues, don’t lack the guts, don’t lack the fortitude, don’t lack the resilience to go out there with our Labor agenda and to win this election.

I know that it can be done. And I also say to my caucus colleagues that that will best be done by us putting the divisions of the past behind us and uniting as a political party, making sure we put our best face forward at the forthcoming election campaign and in the years beyond.

I want to say a few remarks about being the first woman to serve in this position.

There has been a lot of analysis about the so-called gender wars, me playing the so-called gender card because heavens knows no one noticed I was a woman until I raised it.

But against that background, I do want to say about all of these issues, the reaction to being the first female Prime Minister does not explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my prime ministership.

I have been a little bit bemused by those colleagues in the newspapers who have admitted that I have suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other prime ministers in the past, but then concluded that it had zero effect on my political position or the political position of the Labor Party.

It doesn’t explain everything, it doesn’t explain nothing, it explains some things.

And it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey.

What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that, and I’m proud of that.

Can I say now a few thank-yous, particularly to my colleague Wayne Swan, who I think will address you shortly.

He has been fantastic. I have had loyal and capable colleagues. I want to thank them for their dedication and determination.

Politicians aren’t fashionable in the Australian community, but take it from me, even as I go out the door, politicians work incredibly hard and overwhelmingly people come into this Parliament with a sense of service and that certainly defines my colleagues; their sense of service to the nation.

I want to thank the people who have worked with me. I want to thank the staff at The Lodge and Kirribilli House. I want to thank the AFP – what’s a few sandwiches between friends – don’t worry about it. I want to thank my personal staff led ably by Ben Hubbard.

Unfortunately it is becoming part of our political debate to draw staff members into the contest. I think that is wrong, I have always believed it wrong and I hope it desists now.

I would like to thank my electorate office staff, particularly Michelle Fitzgerald and Carlos, who have been with me since I was elected in 1998.

I would like to thank Tim and my family and I would like to say, as I have already said by way of text to my niece, who is due to have a baby in July, look forward to the most meddlesome great aunt in Australia’s history.

Thank you very much.

9.00pm – Greg Combet has resigned from the ministry.

There appears to be an exodus from the ministry. Details are not clear.

8.50pm – Anthony Albanese has been elected Deputy Leader of the ALP.

Albanese defeated Simon Crean 61 votes to 38, with 3 informal. Albanese will become Deputy Prime Minister.

Penny Wong was elected Senate leader unopposed. Jacinta Collins is her deputy.

8.10pm – Kevin Rudd has been elected leader of the Australian Labor Party, defeating Julia Gillard by 57 votes to 45.

The decision was announced a short while ago by the Caucus Returning Officer, Chris Hayes.

Deputy leader Wayne Swan has resigned. A ballot to choose between Anthony Albanese and Simon Crean is now underway.

Senator Stephen Conroy has resigned as Senate leader. Penny Wong has been elected to replace him.

It is reported that Joe Ludwig and Craig Emerson have resigned from the ministry.

The independent member Andrew Wilkie has pledged his support on confidence motions to Rudd. With Craig Thomson, Bob Katter and Adam Bandt, that should enable the government to survive a confidence motion if one is moved tomorrow, the last sitting day of the House of Representatives.

  • Watch Chris Hayes announce the result of the ballot (4m)

6.40pm – Bill Shorten has announced that he has switched his support to Kevin Rudd.

A key player in the 2010 deposing of Rudd, Shorten’s support all but assures Rudd of victory.

5.15pm – Kevin Rudd has confirmed that he will contest tonight’s ALP leadership ballot.

At a press conference, Rudd said he was responding to public demand for his return and because the country needs a “competitive choice” at the election. He also attacked Tony Abbott’s policies and suggested he would follow the British path of austerity.

Rudd said he would not contest the election if he loses the ballot tonight.

  • Listen to Rudd (7m)
  • Watch Rudd:

Transcript of Kevin Rudd’s press conference statement.

Thank you for gathering. My fellow Australians. My fellow members of the Australian Parliamentary Labor Party. Today I am announcing that I will be a candidate for the position of Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party. I am advised that the Chair of the Parliamentary Labor Party has been collecting a petition of members, about a third in number, which requested that a meeting of the Party be held to resolve the question of the Party’s leadership. Of course, Julia’s statement of half an hour or so ago removes the need for such a petition. The truth is, many, many MP’s have requested me for a long, long time to contest the leadership of the Party because of the parlour circumstances we now face. And perhaps less politely, various Ministers have been free and frank in their public advice to me as to the desirability to contest the leadership in recent days. For the nation’s sake, I believe it’s time for this matter to be resolved. The second and more important reason for contesting the leadership is the tens and thousands of ordinary Australians, members of the Australian public who have been asking me to do this for a very long time. And it’s your voices, the voices of the Australian people; it’s those voices that have had a huge effect on me. More so than the voices I happen to hear around the corridors of this building. What literally thousands of Australians have said to me over the last year or so is that they are genuinely fearful of what Mr Abbott could do to them if he’s elected, not only elected with a massive majority, including a majority in the Senate, which he is currently on track to do.

Last time Mr Abbott’s party had absolute power, they brought in WorkChoices. People are afraid, they are very afraid, that they will try to do it again. Under a different name of course, but no one forgets WorkChoices. Australian families are afraid of what Mr Abbott could do to penalty rates and overtime. What could happen to their jobs, what it could do to pensions.

And what I could do to the environment. And the truth is if we are all being perfectly honest about it right now is that we are on course for a catastrophic defeat, unless there is change. And so today i am saying to you the people of Australia, I’m seeking to respond to your call That I’ve heard from so many of you to do what I can to prevent Mr Abbott from becoming prime minister. There is a third reason for contesting the leadership as well. I believe that all Australians whatever their politics want a real choice at this election. A real choice. At present if you talk to them long and hard, they don’t feel as if they’ve got one. And they are frustrated that we are denying them one. They are angry that we are leaving them with little choice at all other than to vote for Mr Abbott. Australian want a real policy debate on our vision for the countries future and Mr Abbott’s vision for the future of our economy and jobs, on national security, on education, on health, on climate change and how we would make these competing visions work. This has now become urgent for the future of the economy in particular. I believe that what the country needs now is strong, proven, national, economic leadership to deal with a formidable new challenge Australia now faces with the end of the decade long china resources boom and its impact on Australian jobs and living standards into the future.

Given that our economic relationship with China alone now accounts for nearly 10% of the total size of our economy. This is a massive new challenge.

Diversification and productivity are no longer important for Australia, they are essential for Australia, if we are to protect our jobs and maintain our living standards.

Mr Abbott’s alternative economic policy is to copy the British conservatives – launch a national slash and burn, austerity drive and drive the economy into recession as happened in Britain. A double dip and almost a triple dip recession in the United Kingdom.

I therefore believe, with all my heart, that I owe it to my country to offer the Australian people a viable alternative, for them to choose the future they want for themselves. Their jobs and their families – because these big economic questions will affect us all and sooner than we think.
It is time for proven national economic leadership.

These are the three core reasons why I have changed my position on the leadership. The request that I have received from my colleagues, my belief that the Australian people deserve a competitive choice at the next election and my fear that if we don’t offer it Mr Abbott will win by the biggest landslide since Federation. Unleash an assault on the people who rely upon us the Australian Labor Party and those of us in the Australian Labor government to protect them.

I do not seek to fudge the fact that I have changed my position, I’ve simply given you the reasons today that I have done so.

I accept full responsibility for my previous statements on the leadership and I’ll leave it to you , the good people of Australia to judge whether I have made the right call.

If I win this ballot, every effort I have in my being will be dedicated to uniting the Australian Labor Party. No retributions, no pay backs, none of that stuff. It’s pointless, it’s old politics.

The values which drive our movement are those things which should unite us. For those ministerial colleagues and friends who choose to serve and who want to serve, my general principle will be to embrace them in serving. For those who believe they cannot serve, I wish them well, thank them for their service and welcome the opportunity to renew the government. If I lose, of course, I would announce that I would not contest the next election, and I thank Julia for making the same commitment.

Friends, my fellow Australians, I love this country of ours and I’m doing what I honestly believe to be in the best interest of Australia. And to my friends in the media, you’ve heard me say this a million times, I have an hour and 40 minutes to speak to a number of friends in the Parliamentary Labor Party about what will happen here in this room at 7pm, so I’ve gotta zip, thank you.

4.20pm – Julia Gillard has called a leadership ballot for 7pm tonight.

Gillard said she would retire from politics at the election if she loses the ballot. She called on Kevin Rudd to do the same.

In an interview with Sky News, Gillard said she had not yet been notified of a caucus petition but said she had decided to call a ballot anyway. She likened the petition to the Loch Ness monster: no-one’s ever seen it.

12.40pm – Supporters of Kevin Rudd are circulating a petition for a special ALP Caucus meeting to challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership.

Lenore Taylor at The Guardian and Peter Hartcher at the Sydney Morning Herald have both posted reports saying the petition is circulating now.


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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