Leadership crisis: Oz foreign minister Kevin Rudd quits

There's speculation Rudd is going to mount a bid to topple Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Written by Agencies | Canberra | Published:February 22, 2012 12:22 pm

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd resigned on Wednesday amid speculation he was going to mount a bid to topple Prime Minister Julia Gillard,plunging the nation’s minority government into a new crisis.

Rudd told a news conference in Washington he would return to Australia this week before deciding his future,but ended his announcement asking his ruling Labor party colleagues who is best placed to defeat (opposition leader) Tony Abbott at the next election?

Gillard’s minority government is struggling to regain voter support and would be thrown from office if an election was held now. Australia’s next national election is due in 2013.

The simple truth is I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I do not have Prime Minister Gillard’s support,Rudd said.

The only honourable course of action is for me to resign.

Gillard toppled Rudd in a party room coup in 2010.

Senior government ministers have in the past week urged Gillard to sack Rudd from the ministry due to the bitter and ongoing speculation that he wants to return as prime minister.

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