BRAND MHR Gary Gray will support Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Monday’s leadership ballot and says Australia has moved on from Kevin Rudd.
Mr Gray remains a staunch supporter of Ms Gillard, who he helped into the top job in June, 2010.
“It is my position that the stability of government is the most important thing and that means the continuance of the Gillard government,” he said.
In dramatic scenes this week, Mr Rudd quit as Foreign Minister while in Washington, with a leadership ballot announced for Monday in Canberra.
Mr Gray said the prime ministership was about governance, not popularity.
He admitted the leadership challenge in 2010 was “perhaps too clean and too swift”.
“The swift leadership change perhaps left the government exposed to media interpretations of motive,” he said.
“That in many ways has led to a festering of relationships and a belief on behalf of Kevin Rudd that he could come back and be a Prime Minister.”
Mr Gray said the time had passed for Mr Rudd to lead the country and the “overwhelming majority” of the cabinet supported Ms Gillard as Prime Minister.
“Being Prime Minister isn’t a job you have a shot at and then you come back again if you think you’ve learned a lesson,” he said.