21/03/2013 - 14:55

Abbott says 'civil war' to continue

21/03/2013 - 14:55

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Abbott says 'civil war' to continue

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says today’s leadership ballot fizzle has resulted in a standoff and not a resolution as trumpeted by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Ms Gillard and deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan were re-elected unopposed in the Labor caucus meeting this afternoon, which was called after senior minister Simon Crean brought the issue to a head.

The meeting lost its sting before it began, after former prime minister Kevin Rudd refused to put his name up for the vote.

The result prompted Ms Gillard to declare leadership tensions were finished within Labor ranks.

“The leadership has been settled and settled in the most conclusive fashion possible,” Ms Gillard said.

Mr Abbott, however, told reporters that the government would remain deadlocked.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand, that is plainly the case with the Labor Party,” Mr Abbott said.

“I think it is high time that the Australian people have a chance to choose the prime minister and the government.

“The faceless men have had a few goes now and quite frankly they have gotten it wrong.”

Mr Abbott said a leadership change would have done nothing to stabilise the Labor leadership.

“The civil war goes on; Kevin Rudd is stalking Julia Gillard, if there is a change Julia Gillard will stalk Kevin Rudd.

“It is absolutely obvious we have seen a standoff, not a resolution.”

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