Gillard retains top job

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 21 Maret 2013 | 19.55

PRIME MINISTER Julia Gillard has retained the leadership of the Labor party after Kevin Rudd ruled out challenging her in a snap Caucus ballot.

No one else stood against Ms Gillard for the leadership in the vote at 4.30pm today.

Treasurer Wayne Swan remains as deputy prime minister after Simon Crean withdrew his nomination.

For the latest leadership coverage, click here

"Both were duly elected unopposed and unanimously by the parliamentary caucus," returning officer Chris Hayes told reporters in Canberra today.

Ms Gillard later left the meeting smiling with Mr Swan. Mr Crean walked in another direction.

"I think this puts aside all the instability that's been associated with people's actions around the leadership issue and allows us to focus on moving on and talk to the electorate," Mr Hayes said.

Ms Gillard called the spill after Mr Crean held a press conference to call for a leadership ballot shortly before question time today.

Mr Hayes said the mood in the room after the meeting started was sombre.

"These things are certainly difficult," he said, adding it was emotionally draining for members and senators.

"They are things you don't look forward to."

But Mr Hayes said most were happy the leadership issue had been resolved.

"It puts beyond doubt the question of leadership of the Labor party."

Asked whether there was any discussion about whether Mr Crean was right to call for the leadership spill, Mr Hayes said: "There was no comment on that."

Read all about it in tomorrow's Mercury.

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