Another contender for Labor leader emerges

Labor MP Jim Chalmers, who hails from the right, said last night he was considering a tilt at the position.

“I’m considering it. I’m talking to my colleagues about it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that a few of us take some time to work out what we want to do,” he told ABC’s Q&A program.

Anthony Albanese has already said he intends to stand for the leadership, after he lost to Mr Shorten the last time the party held a ballot.

Other names being mentioned are Chris Bowen and Joel Fitzgibbon. But Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek ruled herself out yesterday.

Mr Albanese has stressed he won’t take a unilateral approach to policymaking if he convinces the federal Labor Party to make him their leader.

But the long-time MP believes Labor needs to take a hard look at some of their policies after Saturday’s election drubbing.

“There are issues that need re-examining,” he told ABC’s 7:30 last night.

“It’s up to the caucus. One of the things that I’m not going to do, if I’m elected as leader of the Labor Party, is to make policy on the run. I’ll talk with the caucus, we’ll consult.”

Mr Albanese remains the only federal Labor MP to have declared his intention to contest the party’s leadership since Mr Shorten resigned on election night.

He became the first to officially announce his run at a pub in Balmain, in Sydney’s inner west.

He was full of praise for Mr Shorten who will remain in an interim role until his successor is chosen.

“He has fought a tough campaign, he has led our great party for six years. He has been an inclusive leader and is someone who has campaigned on a policy agenda in the interests of working people and is someone who has my respect,” Mr Albanese said.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers are considering contesting the leadership. Picture: Rohan ThomsonSource:AAP

Ms Plibersek has confirmed she won’t be throwing her hat into the ring for the top job despite support from across the party.

“Now is not my time,” she said in a statement yesterday.

“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.”

Ms Plibersek intends to continue as Labor deputy leader until the party’s leadership is determined.

Labor national president Wayne Swan paid tribute to Ms Plibersek but declined to say who should run.

Mr Shorten was reportedly backing Ms Plibersek for the leadership, The Australian reported on Sunday night, citing senior Labor sources.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard also came out in support of Ms Plibersek for the top job.

Tanya Plibersek holds one of the safest Labor seats in the country. Picture: Jeremy Piper

Tanya Plibersek holds one of the safest Labor seats in the country. Picture: Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

Labor’s national executive committee met on Monday to lay out the framework for the leadership ballot.

The full Labor executive, comprising senior MPs and key party officials, will meet on Wednesday.

The search for the next leader is expected to take about one month. Rank and file members will first cast their votes, followed by the federal Labor caucus, before the results are averaged out and a winner crowned.

Mr Fitzgibbon is another MP who is considering to run for the leadership.

After Saturday’s election loss, Mr Fitzgibbon believes the party has drifted too far to the left.

“We certainly have to get back to the centre, and we have to reconnect to our working class base,” he told ABC Radio National.

“Someone needs to indicate that they are the person who is prepared to put us back on track. And if someone’s not prepared to do that, well, I might just do it myself.”

with AAP


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