Former New South premier Kristina Keneally will be elevated to federal Labor’s frontbench, after Western Sydney MP Ed Husic stepped aside to allow her to join the party’s senior ranks.
- Labor MP Ed Husic steps down from Labor frontbench for Kristina Keneally
- Her promotion comes after factional brawling over the make up of Labor’s senior ranks
- The party will tomorrow decide the full make up of its shadow ministry
Factional warlords have been sparring behind the scenes ahead of the party tomorrow determining who will sit on its frontbench.
That bubbled into the public when new Labor leader Anthony Albanese said he wanted Senator Keneally in his Opposition ministry.
“What I’m saying is, I’m making it very clear as leader of the Labor Party, I want the best team, and the best team includes Kristina Keneally,” he said.
The Caucus, not the leader, decides who sits on the frontbench, however Mr Albanese will determine the roles they hold.
Mr Husic said on social media that he would resign from the frontbench and wanted Senator Keneally to take his spot.
@KKeneally: I thank my good friend Ed Husic for his gracious and strong support for me to stand for the front bench. Ed is talented, he enjoys wide support in the NSW Right & across the ALP. I am certain he will play a big role in an Albanese Labor Government.
“We need to ensure someone of Kristina’s enormous talents has the opportunity to make a powerful contribution on the frontline, in the Senate,” his Facebook post said.
“In the aftermath of the federal election, there are things we need to do to rebuild our standing — especially in the place I love, Western Sydney — and I’ll be doing just that.”
A factional brawl had been brewing behind the scenes, with Senator Keneally’s NSW right faction resisting a push to place her on the frontbench.
Her elevation would have stopped one of the existing NSW right MPs — Tony Burke, Jason Clare, Chris Bowen and Joel Fitzgibbon — from retaining their place in Shadow Cabinet.
“I thank my good friend Ed Husic for his gracious and strong support for me to stand for the frontbench,” Senator Keneally tweeted.
“Ed is talented, he enjoys wide support in the NSW Right and across the ALP.
“I am certain he will play a big role in an Albanese Labor Government.”
Mr Husic’s resignation will go some way to quelling the unrest within Labor’s factions.
Those factions will tomorrow decide on who will make up the Shadow Cabinet, while portfolio allocations will be announced next week.