The former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced he is quitting parliament.
Kevin Rudd said that his family had told him, “enough is enough”.
Kevin Rudd has served as the member representing Griffith in Queensland since 1998 – and his retirement will bring about a by-election that Labor looks likely to lose.
Rudd said that he wanted to make his decision known at the earliest opportunity, and that he will be leaving Parliament by the end of the week.
The former Prime Minister said in the House of Representatives this evening that the decision had come about after “much soul-searching for us as a family over the last few months.”
“The decision that I have made has not been taken lightly. But for me, my family is everything, always has been, always will be, which is why I will not be continuing as a member of this parliament beyond this week,” Rudd continued.
The former Prime Minister also wished the current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, good luck with the task in front of the new government, saying, “I wish Tony, his wife Margie and their family all the best for the rigours of high office that inevitably lie ahead.”
Mr Rudd also took the time to thank his supporters during his time in parliament – and wished Bill Shorten well as Opposition Leader.
“Having served as Leader of the Opposition myself, this is never a position for the faint-hearted. There are always long dark nights of the soul but believe it or not, morning does come, often sooner than you think… Bill brings great strength to the position. I have every confidence he will lead Labor’s return to the Treasury benches,” he said.
Mr Rudd continued, “I wish to thank Albo as his extraordinary service as deputy prime minister and leader of the house. Albo is the most formidable parliamentarian in this place, as is recognised on both sides of the chamber.”
Anthony Albanese thanked the former Prime Minister in turn, and asserted that, “There are only three people who have lead Labor to victory from Opposition… Kevin Rudd, Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam.”
“He leaves the Parliament with my best wishes and my enduring friendship,” Albo continued.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s response to Mr Rudd’s announcement was to point out, “What he’s said tonight reminds us of something in this place we all hold dear – he is putting his family first.”
“They have supported Kevin Rudd in good times and bad, and now they get their husband and father, and father-in-law, and grand father back,” Mr Shorten continued.