LABOR’s leadership speculation must come to an end and the federal government should get on with the job of running the country, says Ballarat MP Catherine King.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard was yesterday elected unopposed as Labor leader, after announcing a spill of all leadership positions.
Kevin Rudd did not contest the ballot, reiterating he would only consider a return to the leadership if he was drafted and the position was vacant.
Ms King said the outcome of the leadership vote by Labor’s caucus was expected.
“The caucus has already had a vote on leadership and has very resoundingly backed the Prime Minster Julia Gillard,” the Labor MP said.
Earlier in the day senior Labor minister Simon Crean called for the spill and announced he was shifting his support from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd.
Ms King said Labor had to stop talking about itself and get back to governing.
“The Australian public, including the people in my area, are telling Labor that they are sick of this, they are sick of the speculation in the media,” she said.
“They want us to do the job we were elected to do.”
Labor had been listening to the public saying it was sick of leadership battles and was going to get on with the job, said Ms King.
She added that Julia Gillard’s unopposed election was evidence of that.
“I did not get elected to talk about the ALP or to talk about myself or the leadership,” she said.
Ballarat Liberal candidate John Fitzgibbon said the leadership battle showed Labor was in complete disarray.
“Australia deserves a government that is focused on the national interest not on its own survival,” he said.
“The only way to solve this is to have an election now and not have faceless men make these decisions.”
Greens candidate for Ballarat Steph Hodgins-May said the infighting had given Tony Abbott extra help in the run-up to this year’s federal election.
“The only party it is doing any good is the Liberal Party. It’s given the opposition an excuse not to bring any policies to the table,” she said.
“The Greens won’t get sidetracked into this useless blame game,” she said.