Tanya Plibersek paves the way for Anthony Albanese to succeed Bill Shorten


May 20, 2019 16:12:00

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has ruled out running for her party’s top job, paving the way for Anthony Albanese to succeed Bill Shorten.

Key points:

  • Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek rules out seeking the party’s leadership
  • Anthony Albanese becomes the frontrunner to replace Bill Shorten
  • Ms Plibersek says now is not her time to lead federal Labor

Ms Plibersek yesterday said she was considering running for the top job after Labor’s shock election loss at the weekend.

But she now says she cannot “reconcile” responsibilities to her family along with taking over Labor’s leadership.

“I am overwhelmed by the confidence my colleagues, the union movement, and Labor party members have placed in me,” Ms Plibersek said in a statement.

“I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their support.

“But now is not my time.”

Mr Albanese yesterday launched his candidacy and argued he was the best person to lead Labor.

“I know some people will be disappointed with this decision,” she said.

“I intend to continue as deputy leader until the leadership is determined.

“At that point I will I serve in whatever capacity my colleagues best think can help Labor return to government.”

Ms Plibersek has been Labor’s deputy for the past six years.

She and Mr Albanese are both in the left faction and sit in neighbouring inner Sydney seats.

That means Ms Plibersek is very unlikely to remain as the deputy leader because, traditionally, the party balances its leader and deputy between factions and states.

“Whatever my colleagues decide, I will play a role in taking our economic and social policy agenda to the next stage,” she said.

Labor’s national executive will meet on Wednesday to determine the process to replace Mr Shorten.

He will serve as Labor’s “outgoing leader” and will not contest the leadership.

That would mean Mr Shorten could still be in the leader’s chair if the Government recalls Parliament before Labor picks its new leader.

In 2013, when Mr Albanese and Mr Shorten contested the leadership, it took about five weeks.

It remains unclear if Chris Bowen, the Shadow Treasurer and architect of the contentious tax plans Labor took to the election, will nominate for the leadership.

Sources have told the ABC that Jim Chalmers, who sits in the right faction and is from Queensland, is being encouraged to make a tilt for the top job.

The sources argue Labor’s finance spokesman isn’t as closely linked to the tax proposals like Mr Bowen.

More to come.




First posted

May 20, 2019 15:03:32

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