Livermore backs Gillard
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will be backed by the Federal Member of Capricorn Kirsten Livermore, if a leadership challenge occurs between Ms Gillard and Kevin Rudd in Canberra on Monday.
Ms Livermore yesterday publicly announced she would back Ms Gillard.
The leadership challenge possibility comes after Mr Rudd quit as Foreign Minister on Wednesday night, from Washington DC in America, effective immediately from Sunday.
Ms Livermore played a key role behind the scenes when Ms Gillard took the leadership from Mr Rudd in June 2010.
ABC radio reported today that Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd have both attacked each other's leadership credentials as the Prime Minister announced a Monday morning spill to settle the ALP's bitter civil war "for all time".
Ms Gillard's announcement that Labor Caucus would vote on the leadership at 10:00am on Monday came just after Mr Rudd spoke to the media in Washington about the leadership but stopped short of confirming he would run.
As both contenders laid out their credentials for the job, Ms Gillard said she expected Mr Rudd to stand.
She said she expected to win the ballot, but promised to go to the backbench and "renounce any further ambition for the Labor leadership" if defeated, the ABC said.
"I anticipate that Mr Rudd will also be a candidate in this ballot," she said.
"I ask him to give the same undertaking - that if he does not win this ballot that he will go to the backbench and renounce any further claims to the leadership and act in the interests of the Australian Labor Party and of our nation."
Speaking to reporters in Washington just before climbing on a plane to return to Australia, Mr Rudd said he had had many "encouraging" conversations with supporters back in Australia.