January 17, 2005


Latham resigns blaming health (The Age, January 18, 2005)

Opposition leader Mark Latham has resigned as leader of the Labor Party and from the federal parliament

Mr Latham said in a statement at a hastily called press conference in Sydney he had chosen to resign because of his health.

He did not take any questions from reporters.

Mr Latham said: "A number of colleagues have asked me to address the uncertainty concerning the Labor leadership."

"While I had planned to reassess things at the end of my leave period on the 26th of January, the ongoing speculation is damaging the party and needs to be dealt with now.

"(My family's) conclusion is that I should look after my health and pursue a normal life outside of politics.

"Therefore I've decided to resign both as Labor leader and Member for Werriwa."

Beazley push as end nears for Latham (Michelle Grattan, Misha Schubert and Orietta Guerrera Canberra, January 18, 2005, The Age)
Kim Beazley should resume the federal Labor leadership if Mark Latham quits, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie declared last night, as many in the party pronounced Mr Latham's leadership dead in the water.

Earlier Jim McGinty, Attorney-General in the West Australian Government, which faces an imminent and difficult election, called on Mr Latham to resign.

The embattled leader has lost the support of a significant number of caucus members, with the party increasingly angry at his silence about his future.

Mr Beazley, the former party leader, and foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd are frontrunners for successor, as sections of the party try to find a "consensus" candidate to replace Mr Latham.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 17, 2005 11:57 PM

Australian Labour faces an internal battle among its nihilist left, its pro-business, Asian kowtow Third Way crowd, and it's historically nationalist and religious base. There is a lot of betting on Beazley right now but he may be too pro-American for the left wing and the media.

He supports the Australian troop presence in Iraq, while Latham did not.

Posted by: Bart at January 18, 2005 7:17 AM
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