Julia Gillard calls leadership spill

Nick Pearson, ninemsn
2:02pm March 21, 2013
March 21, 2013: Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces that there will be a ballot for the ALP leadership this afternoon, and invites the opposition to take their best shot until then.

Julia Gillard has announced a ballot for the party leader and deputy leader at 4:30pm AEDT today.

The prime minister made the declaration at the very start of question time at 2pm.

"In the meantime, take your best shot," Ms Gillard told the opposition leader.

At 2.10pm AEDT Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made a motion of no confidence in the prime minister.

"This is a government in deadlock," he said.

"This is a government in crisis.

March 21, 2013: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rejected opposition leader Tony Abbott’s suggestion that Labor should discharge its duty in governing.

"This is about reassuring the Australian people that we are a great people and we are a great country, just momentarily let down by a very poor government.

(This is) an incompetent and chaotic government which just gets worse and worse with each passing day, let alone each passing day."

The no confidence motion failed to pass along party lines.

Ms Gillard's announcement comes an hour after former opposition leader Simon Crean called for a leadership spill.

Mr Crean declared his intention to stand for deputy leader and called for Kevin Rudd to come forward and stand for the leadership.

Mr Rudd is still reportedly undecided as to whether he will run as leader.

March 21, 2013: Federal arts minister Simon Crean has publicly declared his support for Kevin Rudd and called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to declare the leadership of the Labor Party open at a party caucus meeting.

Mr Crean has since been sacked as a minister.

Foreign minister Bob Carr, reportedly a Rudd supporter, is currently out of the country and will be unable to vote in the spill.

Julia Gillard has called for a leadership ballot at 4.30pm today.
Julia Gillard has called for a leadership ballot at 4.30pm today.
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