Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Resigns

James Johnson

Australia foreign minister Kevin Rudd announced his resignation on Wednesday following a bitter battle with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

In a statement to the press Rudd said of his resignation:

"I can only serve as foreign minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers."

Rudd addressed "distracting speculation" that his supported would try to bring him back into control of the party.

"The truth is the Australian people regard this whole affair as little better than a soap opera and they are right," he said. "And under current circumstances, I won't be part of it."
"For too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader Labor movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop. The party has given Kevin Rudd all the opportunities in the world and he wasted them with his dysfunctional decision making and his deeply demeaning attitude toward other people including our Caucus colleagues."

After the resignation was announced Gillard said she was surprised by Rudd's resignation:

"I am disappointed that the concerns Mr. Rudd has publicly expressed this evening were never personally raised with me, nor did he contact me to discuss his resignation prior to his decision."