Anthony Albanese has been confirmed as Labor’s new leader after his potential rivals withdrew from the race to succeed Bill Shorten.
The Left faction spear-carrier has been elected unopposed as the new Opposition Leader nine days after the Coalition was surprisingly re-elected for a third consecutive term.
He is also the first major party leader in 50 years to be single.
In his first media conference as Labor leader, he paid tribute to his estranged wife Carmel Tebbutt, a former deputy premier of New South Wales, who is the mother of his 18-year-old son Nathan.
In his first media conference as Labor leader, Anthony Albanese (pictured right) paid tribute to his estranged wife Carmel Tebbutt (left), a former deputy premier of New South Wales, who is the mother of his 18-year-old son Nathan
‘To my partner of 30 years, Carmel, I thank you for your love, your support and your advice over all of those years,’ he told reporters on Monday.
‘Our relationship has changed, but I have nothing but best wishes for her future. We have raised a wonderful young son in Nathan.
‘He is now studying business at university. We couldn’t be more proud.’
Anthony Albanese, the son of an invalid pensioner who grew up in housing commission in Sydney’s inner-west, is the first federal Opposition Leader to be elected unopposed since Kim Beazley succeeded Mark Latham in January 2005.
Anthony Albanese has been confirmed as Labor’s new leader after his potential rivals withdrew from the race to succeed Bill Shorten
The 56-year-old former deputy prime minister released a statement on Monday morning confirming his new role.
‘Honoured to be elected 21st Leader of the Australian Labor Party,’ he said on Facebook.
‘Thank you to members of caucus, rank and file members and affiliates for your support.
‘Together we can return our great Party to government in three years’ time.’
Mr Albanese had a clear run for the Labor leadership following the withdrawal of fellow inner-Sydney Left-faction frontbencher Tanya Plibersek, who had been Mr Shorten’s deputy for six years.
The 23-year member for Grayndler, in Sydney’s inner-west, also had no competition from Labor’s Right faction, after outgoing shadow treasurer Chris Bowen pulled out of the leadership race.
The Left faction spear-carrier has been elected unopposed as the new Opposition Leader, after his predecessor Bill Shorten (pictured with wife Chloe) lost the election
The 56-year-old former deputy prime minister released a statement on Monday morning confirming his new role
Mr Bowen, an MP from outer south-west Sydney, had been the architect of Labor’s unpopular negative gearing and franking credits policies, that targeted housing investors and share-owning retirees.
Queenslander Jim Chalmers, who had been Labor’s finance spokesman, had also considered running for the leadership only to withdraw.
Mr Albanese’s ascension to the Labor leadership has occurred almost six years after Mr Shorten defeated him, under new rules whereby rank-and-file party members were given a say.
He had won the support of 60 per cent of card-carrying party members only to lose out to Mr Shorten, who had majority support among federal Labor MPs.
Mr Albanese, a former assistant general secretary of Labor’s NSW branch, as recently as March posted an Instagram image of himself with Britain’s hard-Left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
The estranged husband of former New South Wales deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt is the first major party leader in Australia to be single since Country Party leader John McEwen, a widower, briefly served as prime minister in December 1967 and January 1968.
Mr Albanese, a former assistant general secretary of Labor’s NSW branch, as recently as March posted an Instagram image of himself with Britain’s hard-Left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
He has, however, promised to be more economically centrist and last week spoke out against Labor’s franking credits policy, arguing it targeted people who ‘weren’t very wealthy’.
Mr Shorten had campaigned for Ms Plibersek to succeed him as Labor leader.
Mr Albanese briefly served as deputy prime minister under Kevin Rudd between June and September 2013.
The left-wing leader with a cosmopolitan, inner-city electorate is now tasked with winning back areas of northern and central Queensland that deserted Labor on May 18 over the Adani coal mine.
Labor’s two most recent leaders to have won government from Opposition, Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke, held inner-city electorates in Brisbane and Melbourne, respectively.