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Costello closes book on leadership battle

Treasurer Peter Costello has announced he won’t take on Prime Minister John Howard in a pre-Budget leadership showdown. In the wake of the Gerard affair, Mr Costello’s retreat from his immediate leadership ambitions signals an uneasy truce between himself and the Prime Minister. The fallout from the appointment and subsequent resignation from the Reserve Bank board of Mr Gerard has impacted the Treasurer’s reputation and standing with his colleagues. In one of the most difficult weeks in his 10 years as Treasurer, Mr Costello made his leadership position clear when he confirmed he would deliver his 11th Budget.

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