Gillard remains Labor party leader

Canberra, March 21 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard retained the leadership of the Labor party Thursday after former prime minister Kevin Rudd declared he won’t stand in the Labor leadership ballot in the Australian Labor Party (ALP) caucus.

Treasurer Wayne Swan remains deputy prime minister after Simon Crean, a former minister for arts and regional affairs, withdrew his nomination, reported Xinhua.
Gillard called a leadership spill for 4.30 p.m. after an intervention from party elder Simon Crean, who demanded the leadership be put to vote to end the “disunity” which he said was killing the party. Crean announced he would back Kevin Rudd. But 10 minutes ahead of the ballot, Rudd said he would not stand in the ballot.