Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Gillard calls up retired ally


The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday named a retired politician as her Foreign Minister in place of Kevin Rudd, who tried to oust her during a chaotic, short-lived rebellion in the ruling Labor Party.

Mr Rudd's resignation as Foreign Minister last week forced Ms Gillard to reshuffle her Cabinet. In the process, she demoted the Emergency Management Minister Robert McClelland, who publicly backed Mr Rudd's effort to remove her as Prime Minister.

The appointment of Bob Carr, a former state Premier of New South Wales, as Mr Rudd's replacement was a surprise. Mr Carr retired from politics in 2005 and said he initially wrestled with whether to return to public service.

After quitting his post, Mr Rudd attempted to oust Ms Gillard in a vote of Labor Party lawmakers on Monday. Ms Gillard, who deposed Mr Rudd as Prime Minister two years ago in an internal party coup, easily defeated him.

Speaking in Canberra, Ms Gillard insisted the drama-riddled power challenge was not a factor in the reshuffle.

But Mr McClelland later said Ms Gillard told him she was ousting him in part because he had "gone further" with his advocacy for Mr Rudd than others.