Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Grudges Are Buried, Say Leadership Rivals; Gillard Vows to Get on with Job after Slaying Rudd in Vote

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Grudges Are Buried, Say Leadership Rivals; Gillard Vows to Get on with Job after Slaying Rudd in Vote

Article excerpt

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has declared Labor's political drama over following her defeat of Kevin Rudd in a caucus ballot.

Mr Rudd said he accepted his defeat C[pounds sterling]without qualification or rancourC[yen] and would go to the backbench, paying an emotional tribute to his family and colleagues at a media conference in Canberra yesterday.

Having won the ballot 71 to 31, Ms Gillard told reporters she intended to move beyond the C[pounds sterling]uglyC[yen] events of the past week.

C[pounds sterling]Australians have had a gutful of seeing us focus on ourselves,C[yen] Ms Gillard said.

C[pounds sterling]Today I want to say to Australians one and all, this issue, the leadership question, is now determined.

C[pounds sterling]I can assure you that this political drama is over.C[yen]

The Prime Minister, who seized the top job from Mr Rudd in June 2010, admitted she had failed to explain properly the coup of 20 months ago, but the leadership challenge had allowed her to do so.

She paid tribute to Mr Rudd, who she said had had a C[pounds sterling]very tough day indeedC[yen].

Mr Rudd must be honoured for his many achievements, which included the apology to the Stolen Generation, guiding Australia through the global financial crisis and his C[pounds sterling]amazing advocacyC[yen] as foreign minister, she said.

Ms Gillard, who shook Mr Rudd's hand in the caucus room after the vote, said she also had learnt some personal lessons.

C[pounds sterling]I intend to be a stronger and more forceful advocate of what we are doing and what we are achieving for the Australian people,C[yen] she said, adding the party would now unite ahead of an election in late 2013.

C[pounds sterling]At the end of the day, as Labor people we are driven by a common purpose and a common set of values, a common belief in what we want for Australia's future as a stronger and fairer nation,C[yen] she said. …

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