[release]Foreign Minister Kevid Rudd has announced his resignation at a press conference in Washington DC at 1.20am local time, 5.20pm AEDT.Mr Rudd he believed he no longer had the support of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and had no option but to resign.He called the leadership brawl a "soap opera" and said he would not have "anything to do with it".
After midnight ... Kevin Rudd to address the media in Washington DC.
A move against Kevin Rudd next week is almost certain with Prime Minister Julia Gillard determined to resolve the leadership crisis when parliament resumes.With the backing of her senior cabinet ministers, Ms Gillard is poised either to sack Mr Rudd from the ministry or hold a leadership ballot to expose his lack of support.Senior sources stressed that no decision had been made but, said one: "There's movement at the station."
Winging it ... Julia Gillard at the BAE systems factory in Adelaide today. Photo: David Mariuz
One backer of a ballot said there was a growing feeling that Ms Gillard would take on Mr Rudd in a leadership spill next week and "not only win, but win bloody decisively".The Sydney Morning Herald revealed today that Ms Gillard was reserving the option of calling a leadership ballot next week but that she will bring it on only from a position of strength to resolve the crisis consuming her government.A senior source reported that "it is still very much an option to bring it on ... No decision has been made. It's a discussion that needs to be had."Industry and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet fuelled speculation that the leadership battle needed to come to a head.Mr Combet told the National Press Club in Canberra that he was "frustrated" that the speculation over a leadership bid by Mr Rudd was continuing."Enough is enough. It is time this matter is resolved," he said."It is a distraction to the work of government."He said he was a "strong supporter" of Ms Gillard."This issue needs to be resolved and it needs to be resolved in the near future," Mr Combet said.The way in which it was resolved was "a judgment for the Prime Minister to make".Another senior Gillard backer said Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd could no longer work together "in any capacity"."The facts are that Kevin can't stay in cabinet and Julia needs to take him on in front of the caucus," the source said. "If he doesn't throw his hat in, then he will be dumped anyway."The Gillard camp is confident that it retains the numbers to win convincingly over Mr Rudd in a ballot, with the Foreign Minister thought to have about 30 votes in the 103-strong caucus.Mr Rudd - who is to deliver a speech in Washington, DC, on Wednesday - said that he was not challenging for the leadership and expected to remain Foreign Minister."Can I just say, as I've said many times before, that we have a Prime Minister; I support the Prime Minister; and I intend to remain as Foreign Minister," Mr Rudd said in response to questions about a leadership spill.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politi...#ixzz1n5cDsfZN[/release]
Wow... I blame Julia.