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Tanya Plibersek rules out running for Labor leadership

Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has decided not to run for the leadership of the party.

In a shock announcement, she says she has the support to be elected leader, but now is not her time (full statement below).

“At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership.”

It clears the way for Anthony Albanese, who has already declared his intention to run in the leadership ballot.

Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says they need a strong leader to unite the party after their shock loss.

“We were punished on Saturday.

“People believe we’ve kept away from our working-class roots and we need to get back on track.”

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Full statement from Tanya Plibersek:

The result on the weekend was a blow for Labor supporters, and the many millions of people whose lives are made better by Labor governments.

Bill unified Labor and could not have worked harder to get us across the line.  But Labor fell short.

I am very grateful for the support I have received from my colleagues, from party members and others, urging me to run for the Labor leadership.

I have support, from across the party, to be elected leader.

I am overwhelmed by the confidence my colleagues, the union movement, and Labor party members have placed in me.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their support.

But now is not my time.

At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership.

I know some people will be disappointed with this decision.

I intend to continue as deputy leader until the leadership is determined.

At that point I will I serve in whatever capacity my colleagues best think can help Labor return to government.

Whatever my colleagues decide, I will play a role in taking our economic and social policy agenda to the next stage.

Our victories are hard fought, and hard won – whether its elections, or great Labor legacies such as Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, fair school funding, or protection for our environment, and support for renewables.

I understand that to win elections Labor needs to take the Australian people with us.

We do need to take a serious look at our policies.

We need to listen.

We need to connect with people.

We need to carefully lay out our agenda.

We need to explain clearly and convince – win hearts and minds.

We need to campaign, not just at election time, but all the time.

And we need to be relentless in taking the fight up to the Liberals – including on jobs and the economy

Australia’s economy is just not working for working people.  Working Australians are finding it harder and harder to get ahead.

I believe that as the party of working people, Labor’s single most important task is to ensure every Australian has a good job with decent pay and conditions.

Good jobs allow people to get ahead in Australia – and that must have our laser focus.

Labor’s values are clear: Australia is at its best when our economy is strong and our society is fair.

When we have profitable businesses that return some of those profits to workers by creating jobs and increasing wages.

When we have great services that everyone can rely on – hospitals, childcare, schools, TAFE, unis – roads and public transport.

When we live in a society where everyone gets the chance to get ahead.

But to do all this Labor needs to win government.

And I will continue to do all I can to achieve that.