Anthony Albanese Will Run For Labor Leader
Outlining a plan to bring unions and business together, 'Albo' is running for Labor leader, after calling the election result "devastating".
As soon as Bill Shorten resigned the ALP leadership, after Saturday's surprise election loss, eyes turned to Anthony Albanese.
He fronted cameras at 1.30pm on Sunday, speaking from Balmain's Unity Hotel in his home electorate of Grayndler, announcing he would seek the leadership.
"I am sorry that we collectively did not get the job done," he said of Saturday's result.
"We need to respect the decision which people made yesterday in clear fashion. This is a devastating result."
He claimed Australia faces "huge challenges" around the economy, industry and jobs; said the "regions and outer suburbs are falling behind the inner suburbs"; and raised the issues of underemployment, low-paid workers, and generational disadvantage.
"Everyone, including the government, knows in their heart of hearts, that the tax system is not delivering what we need for the country," he said, despite the election result already being seen as a slapdown of Labor's plan to reform franking credits and negative gearing.
"What we need to do is have a government that deals with the big challenges by bringing people together. We need unions and businesses, people who live in our cities, the outer suburbs, or in the regions, to come together and recognise that what unites us as a nation is far greater than what divides us."
The long-time and popular Sydney MP admitted he would not act the way some other leaders do, saying he wouldn't sway from his established brand as a knockabout suburban identity.
"I am a bit rough at the edges, but I think that Australians don't want someone who just utters talking points... I will not be as articulate as someone who is simply reading from a script," he said, in comments that could be seen as a veiled swipe at PM Scott Morrison.
Shorten issued a statement on Sunday, saying he asked the ALP executive to meet to elect a new leader "as quickly as is reasonably possible." He will remain as "outgoing leader" until that process is completed.
"For millions of Labor supporters, today is a very hard day. I promise I will do everything I can to ensure our great party is back stronger, wiser and united to ensure we can deliver a fair go for all," Shorten said.
Coincidentally, at the exact time Albanese stood up in Sydney, Shorten fronted cameras in Melbourne. The timing was suspect, and some TV stations switched to Shorten and abandoned Albanese.
Shorten said there were "lots of lessons for Labor to learn from yesterday's results."
"I am now looking forward to spending some overdue time with my amazing wife," he said.
"We didn't get enough votes. This interview is not one for doing a whole post-match and I gave some of my analysis last night."
ALP President Wayne Swan, who retired from his seat prior to this election, had sage words for his party.
"The result is deeply disappointing and our Party has a responsibility to analyse the result and to respond maturely," Swan said.
"In light of this result we need to examine our policy framework and our campaign strategies."
"We owe it to our supporters and future generations of Australians to find a politics that connects the people with these urgent challenges... The Party has got to dust itself off, rethink and reorganise."
Despite his long-time friction and competition with Shorten, Albanese had nothing but praise for the outgoing leader.
"No-one could have worked harder for the cause of Labor and the election of a Labor government than Bill Shorten. We respect our former leaders and I have the utmost respect for Bill Shorten, and you will see no criticism of him from me," he said.
It is expected other Labor figures such as Tanya Plibersek and Jim Chalmers could also stand for the leadership.
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