Video: Kevin Rudd ousted by Julia Gillard mounts bid to oust her as Australia’s Labor leader
Published 24/02/2012 | 10:14
AUSTRALIA’S former foreign minister, Kevin Rudd announces he will contest a leadership vote against Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, bringing to a head the bitter rivalry engulfing the minority government.
Mr Rudd, who was ousted by Gillard in June 2010, said he was the best person to lead the governing Labor Party into the next election, due in late 2013.
Speaking at a press conference in in Brisbane, he said: "That's why I'm here today, because I believe that to do the best for Australia and Labor, things have to change.
"Rightly or wrongly, Julia [Gillard] has lost the trust of the Australian people, and starting on Monday I want to start restoring that trust. That's why I've decided to contest the leadership of the Australian Labor Party at the ballot in the caucus of the Australian Labor Party on Monday.
"I want to finish the job the Australian people elected me to do when I was elected by them to become prime minister."
Ms Gillard has called a leadership vote to happen on Monday after Mr Rudd suddenly resigned as foreign minister on Wednesday, hoping the early vote would enable her to stamp her authority over the governing Labour Party and head off Mr Rudd's hopes of building support.
Ms Gillard has called on Mr Rudd to abandon any leadership ambitions if he loses.
He has said he would remain in parliament and would not mount a second challenge if he loses on Monday.
Ms Gillard replaced then-leader Mr Rudd in an internal coup in June 2010 and went on to form a minority government with support of the Greens and independent lawmakers.