It is over says Vamvakinou

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram All eyes were on Australia again this week as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faced another leadership challenge on Thursday which she defiantly overcame. Federal Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou – who has made no secret of her support for Kevin Rudd to be Labor leader – says she will stand by the PM, and remain steadfast in working towards September’s Federal election, adding that this second leadership challenge is damaging to the nation’s view of the ALP. “It is damaging, that’s the truth,” Ms Vamvakinou tells Neos Kosmos of the aftermath of this week’s leadership challenge. “After [Thursday] I accepted [Mr Rudd’s] decision not to stand, and for me the matter is over. It is over!” Ms Vamvakinou tells Neos Kosmos that she and her Labor colleagues were “caught by surprise” with Simon Crean’s press conference, stating that there were concerns with Julia Gillard as leader of the Labor Party and calling for clarity from Ms Gillard on the issue of leadership. The leadership challenge came as a result of members of the Labor Party expressing their concern with the polls and how the ALP would fare at the next Federal election with Ms Gillard as leader. She says her decision to support Mr Rudd was made “knowingly” and that she doesn’t “believe in hiding from things like this” as she believes in “being up front”. “Most of [the Federal Labor MPs] made their decisions in the full glare of the cameras and media and my view has always been that you might do things that people might not like, but if you are honest and up front about it at least you are respected. “Ultimately we need to respect each other’s choices and decisions. I am not going to undermine the prime minister or the government, I am not going to be that kind of player. There are people who chose to continue to play those roles and I am not going to be one of those people.” When asked about her decision to support Mr Rudd over the Prime Minister, Ms Vamvakinou responded by saying “politics is a business where people will have disagreements and people will come down on different sides of arguments”. “If we all refrained from expressing ourselves publically or visibly because we are afraid it might damage our political careers then we wouldn’t be doing our jobs honestly, and to me that’s always been the overriding factor. Obviously I am viewed in the public as someone who supported Kevin Rudd and who didn’t support the Prime Minister.” She adds that Thursday was a very “emotional” and “intense” day for the caucus, however, she respects Mr Rudd’s decision not to stand for Labor leader. “At the end of the day, I am back in my electorate. I am the Federal Member for Calwell and I am the Labor member of Calwell for the Gillard government and that’s where I’m going to be until September 14.” She says in this instance she agrees with the Prime Minister that it’s important for the ALP to get together and progress and work towards the upcoming election. “[Ms Gillard] will lead the party to the next election, and I am a member of that government, I am a member of a government that I am proud of. We are not perfect, no one is perfect, but I know where my priorities are now and I am very clear in my mind.” “As far as I am concerned, we are all now – myself included – in the hands of our own sense of collectiveness but also the Australian electorate. I know what needs to be done, we need to now get our message across and people don’t like a disunited government. “[The Australian public] don’t like turmoil and if we continue down that track we will be doing ourselves a great disservice, not only to the prime minister, not only to the government, but also to the Australian community. On the one hand I listen to what people say and respond to it but I’m also going to listen and respond to the community, and they want stability and they want us to get on with the job. They want the bickering to stop.”last_img read more

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