PM Julia Gillard
PM Julia Gillard Getty Images - Robert Prezioso

Gillard calls leadership ballot

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has announced there will be a ballot for the leadership of the Labor Party at 10am on Monday.

Ms Gillard said it had become clear since Kevin Rudd's resignation as Foreign Minister that a ballot was necessary.

"We need it in order to settle this question once and for all. It is in the interests of the Labor Party but, much more importantly, it's in the interest of the Australian nation," she told the press in Adelaide.

"This has moved to a distraction from governing itself. This is not good enough. Australians are rightly sick of this and they want it brought to an end."

Ms Gillard said she would be nominating to continue as Labor leader.

"When the ballot is called I will re nominate for the Labor leadership and I expect the support of my colleagues when I do so."

She said she also expects Kevin Rudd to nominate.

Ms Gillard has made it clear that if Mr Rudd loses the ballot on Monday, he will be expected to go to the backbench.

She has also said that if she loses, she will not take up any ministerial post within the Rudd government.

Earlier this morning, Kevin Rudd made a statement from the US before boarding a plane for Australia saying he will declare his position on the Labor leadership when he arrives home.

Mr Rudd also expressed his displeasure at what he calls 'personal attacks'.

"I have been shocked and disappointed by the tone and content of the intensely personal attacks lodged at me overnight," he said.

"I don't believe these sorts of vicious personal attacks have a place in national affairs.

"I'd urge my own supporters not to retaliate and engage in these sorts of vicious attacks. I don't believe they have a place in Australian politics."



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