After all the political drama yesterday, heads have begun to roll, with a wave of resignations.
4.19 pm: Kevin Rudd has said that he was told yesterday that he had no majority for a leadership vote, and that he sees a “future Prime Minister” in Chris Bowen.
He has praised the work of the ministers who have stood down today.
“The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has my 100% support.”
3.51 pm: Minister for human services Kim Carr has just joined a host of his colleagues who have resigned from the ministry today, revealing that he has also handed his notice to the Prime Minister.
“I went home to Melbourne last night to discuss it with my wife, and I have come to this conclusion with a heavy heart, but it is the only tenable position for me to adopt in these circumstances.
“It is appropriate that I offer my resignation, which I have done.”
While the numbers were close yesterday, it was decided that it was in the best interests of the Labor Party that Rudd not stand, he said.
3.03 pm: The minister for resources and energy, and tourism Martin Ferguson has just resigned, asking that the Labor party reclaim the era of Hawk and Keating. Furguson said he will stand at the next election, and serve the full term of parliament.
“The Labor Party and the Labor movement has been my life since the day I was born.”
9.38 am: Minister for tertiary education, skills, science & research & small business Chris Bowen has handed his resignation in to the Prime Minister this morning, saying “I have always done what I thought was in the best interests of the Labor Party.”
He also told reporters that Kevin Rudd did “the right thing,” by not contesting the leadership.
Bowen will still contest the seat of McMahon.
After he publicly called for the leadership spill in which Prime Minister Julia Gillard was reaffirmed as the leader of the Labor Party, Simon Crean was sacked from the front bench.
Last night he told ABC Television that Kevin Rudd, who didn’t have a crack at the leadership ballot has made the party look “silly”.
The Prime Minister has also accepted the resignation of parliamentary secretary Richard Marles. Sky News reported that Marles offered his resignation after supporting Kevin Rudd ahead of the leadership spill at which Gillard was unanimously confirmed as leader, since there was not anyone running against her.
Another Rudd supporter Joel Fitzgibbon, has said he will step down as the government’s chief whip at the next Labor caucus meeting.
Meanwhile, late yesterday government whips, Ed Husic and Janelle Saffin also resigned.
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