Rudd rejects third candidate option

Scott Powick

KEVIN Rudd has batted away suggestions that Labor should put up a third candidate in tomorrow's leadership ballot, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard moves to reassure the party faithful that Labor can recover from the infighting.

Asked whether a third MP should run as the best chance of ousting Ms Gillard from her position, Mr Rudd said he believed the party had to choose between electoral defeat or a chance at winning the next election.

Those "carrying leadership batons in their backpack real or imagined" should put them away, he said.

MPs and senators have begun arriving in the national capital ahead of tomorrow's ballot with each new arrival greeted by a throng of media at Canberra Airport.

In an interview with the Nine Network earlier today, Mr Rudd reaffirmed his promise that if he was defeated  - as expected - in the ballot that he would go to the backbench and cede any further leadership ambitions.

Read more at Brisbane Times

Topics:  julia gillard kevin rudd leadership challenge

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