News

Rudd had to quit: Saffin

Page MP Janelle Saffin.
Page MP Janelle Saffin.

KEVIN Rudd had no choice but to quit his job as Foreign Minister after senior Labor figures began publicly attacking him, Page MP Janelle Saffin said.

However Mr Rudd's surprise resignation late yesterday clears the way for him to openly canvass support for the Labor leadership.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Rudd said he would return home and seek the advice of family, colleagues and friends before deciding his next step.

"There is one overriding question for my caucus colleagues, and that is who is best placed to defeat Tony Abbott at the next election," Mr Rudd said.

But he added: "I promise you this - there is no way, no way, that I will ever be part of a stealth attack on a sitting prime minister elected by the people."

Ms Saffin said that meant if Mr Rudd chose to challenge for the leadership he would do it in the open.

"My interpretation is he will do exactly that. He'll talk with colleagues and his family and the community about whether he should do something else," Ms Saffin said.

"That could involve taking over as leader, but he's made it clear whatever he does won't be behind closed doors."

Whether he tried to get his old job back or not, Ms Saffin said Mr Rudd's position as Foreign Minister had been made "untenable" by attacks on him from within the senior ministry, notably from Regional Development Minister Simon Crean.

Earlier in the day, Ms Saffin had called on Mr Crean and other senior ministers to "back off" and focus on their jobs instead of fuelling leadership speculation.

"I'm frustrated," Ms Saffin said.

"I don't want them, my leaders, to keep focusing on the leadership when really they should be focused on what a disaster (Opposition Leader) Tony Abbott would be, because I see it up close.

"I think that senior ministers shouldn't come out with their six-gun pistols. They need to back off, they need to quieten it down and stop talking about it, keep doing their jobs and attacking Tony Abbott. That's what they need to do."

Neither Ms Saffin nor Richmond MP Justine Elliot yesterday was prepared to say who they would support in a leadership ballot. And, if shoppers around Lismore yesterday are any indication, many of their constituents are unlikely to care.

Political expert Dr Ros Irwin said the leadership debate appeared to have become a "feeding frenzy" within the media, fuelled by commentators' speculations and outbursts from MPs.

Dr Irwin agreed the debate was making it "extremely difficult" for Labor to govern effectively.

Suggestions Labor was on track to lose under Prime Minister Julia Gillard because of poor polling were hard to credit, with Dr Irwin noting it was impossible to say how Ms Gillard would be perceived by voters at an election that remains, at this stage, more than a year away.

 

Topics:  janelle saffin, kevin rudd, queensland election 2012, simon crean, tony abbott




Local rugby team dons pink at Jodie's charity day

The Marist Brothers Rams wore pink to support Jodie McRae (centre) and her charity, Jodie's Inspiration, at the Rugby League Football Club Day on the weekend.

Marist Brothers help Jodie's Inspiration raise money for hospitals.

Kicking the TinCAN art show to help the elderly

CATCHING A TRAIN TO MOROCCO: This was one of the entries in the Tintenbar Art Show's photographic competition. Photo Contributed

The Tintenbar Art Show is on again over September

Fun time to run after the Olympics are over

FINISHED WELL: Runners in the Greater Casino Fun Run cross the line last year. Photo Samantha Elley / Express Examiner

Starlight Children's Foundation to benefit from fun run

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Fashionistas show off at Splendour in the Grass

Amberly Nelson, from Melbourne, posts for a photo with friends at Splendour in the Grass.

GLITTER, skin and mesh were all on show at festival this weekend.

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started