Kevin Rudd Gets Revenge On Julia Gillard
Three years after being knifed by Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd gets revenge and returns as PM.
In an extraordinary turnaround in political fortunes, Australia’s former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, wrested the top job back today from Julia Gillard, who ousted him nearly three years ago to the day.
Mr Rudd, who was publicly tearful after being deposed in June 2010 and since then has plotted almost incessantly to regain office, was expected to be sworn in as prime minister tomorrow morning by the Australian Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, after Ms Gillard, 51, formally resigned tonight.
In a piquant twist, Ms Bryce’s son-in-law, Bill Shorten, played a pivotal role in the downfall of Australia’s first female leader. An influential figure in Ms Gillard’s Labor Party and prime mover in the 2010 coup, Mr Shorten publicly switched support to Mr Rudd 20 minutes before Labor politicians voted in a leadership ballot.
Once close colleagues, Mr Rudd and his former deputy had become sworn political foes. Although their enmity remained largely unspoken, Gillard loyalists had denounced him as “dysfunctional”, “deeply flawed” and “a psychopath with a giant ego”.
Such quotes have been seized on by the conservative Liberal Party, and are already being aired in TV advertisements which are expected to be frequently replayed in the run-up to an election later this year.
Today’s dramatic events lanced the boil which had been festering at the heart of Australian politics since Welsh-born Ms Gillard became prime minister. After the ballot, which Mr Rudd won by 57 votes to 51, an at times emotional Ms Gillard said she would retire from politics at the election.
It was poor polls which led to the 55-year-old Queenslander being knifed during his first term in office – an unprecedented event in Australia. And it was even poorer polls that led to a second sitting prime minister being dumped, amid predictions of the biggest landslide defeat for Labor for generations. Read more…..www.independent.co.uk