Chris Bowen to face off against Anthony Albanese in race to lead Labor after election loss


Mr Bowen’s pitch will centre on economic growth, fairness and social justice, and is expected to include a frank assessment of where Labor went wrong in the campaign it was widely expected to win.

Earlier on Tuesday, agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon – also from the NSW Right – said he was considering a tilt at the leadership if nobody else would step up to contest Mr Albanese.

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“I am prepared to run for change. I am getting a bit old as you can see, I’ve been around a long time and I would rather a younger person take up the mantle, but if I need to I will do it,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Mr Bowen’s entry into the race means Mr Fitzgibbon is likely to stand down, while another leadership aspirant from the right faction, finance spokesman Jim Chalmers, may also drop out.

Appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Mr Chalmers said he was weighing a tilt and consulting his colleagues. At 41, he would be able to argue he brings generational change to Labor.

Mr Albanese, of the NSW Left faction, was first out of the blocks when Labor’s loss became apparent on Saturday night, confirming he would be a leadership candidate while Mr Shorten was still on stage conceding defeat.

On 3AW radio on Tuesday, Mr Albanese dismissed criticism that he was an “old lefty”, arguing those labels were irrelevant and he was better described as “Old Labor”.

”With me, what you see is what you get,” he said.

More to come



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