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Kevin Rudd quits parliament.

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.

Kevin Rudd looks teary in the chamber.

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.

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The Prime Minister Tony Abbott also spoke after Rudd’s announcement.

Abbott called Kevin Rudd the most successful Prime Minister of modern times, and said that, “we must pay tribute of someone of that stature – I pay tribute for the member of Griffith tonight for his achievements.”

Tony Abbott made specific reference to National Sorry Day, saying that, “There were many things to celebrate in his prime ministership – but one I celebrate was that extraordinary apology in 2010.”

“We thank you and we salute you,” the Prime Minister said.

The Treasure Joe Hockey said that he was “a little surprised” by Kevin Rudd’s announcement, while the member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull looked towards the past and commiserated, “The betrayal of you as leader of your party was one of the most shocking events that I have ever witnessed.”

The Minister also gave a mention to Kevin Rudd’s family, saying: “As the PM has often said – all of us here are volunteers our spouses and families are conscripts – and the way that your family stood by you will never be forgotten.”

You can watch Kevin Rudd’s resignation here:

Kevin Rudd took to Twitter soon after his announcement, with the following:

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Unsurprisingly, the Twitter reaction from other politicians and journalists to Kevin Rudd’s announcement was also immediate. Have a look at some of the tweets from the evening below:

UPDATE: On Thursday morning, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard tweeted in response to Kevin Rudd’s announcement. Here’s what she had to say:

So, over to you. Do you think Kevin Rudd made the right decision to quit parliament? Do you wish he’d stuck around?

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