Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd resigned after rising speculation that he would challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the leadership job she ousted him from in 2010.
Rudd said in a late-night press briefing in Washington that the leadership question had affected the business of government, and that he will consult with his family and colleagues on the future. Rudd said that the prime minister had failed to repudiate attacks on him.
The decision follows a public spat among supporters of Gillard and Rudd as the government’s poll ratings decline in the wake of legislation on taxes on mining, which has propelled the nation’s economy. Gillard, 50, Australia’s first female leader, has sought to refocus attention on an agenda that includes enacting “nation-changing reform” to counter climate change.
--With assistance from Jason Scott in Canberra. Editors: Chris Anstey, Ed Johnson
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