Sitting Australian PM, Julia Gillard, ousted Rudd in 2010 after ongoing tensions surfaced in the Labor Party.

Rudd was praised for the way he handled the affair, while Gillard’s reputation has never fully recovered in voters’ eyes from the perceived underhandedness her coup.

Rudd announced his resignation at a press conference in the US, hours after a meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

“The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I don’t have Prime Minister Gillard’s support,” he said.

“I therefore believe the only honourable course of action is for me to resign.”

Speaking about the way in which he was ousted Rudd said: “We all know that what happened then was wrong and it must never happen again.”

He then went on to explicitly state he would not be involved in a “stealth attack” on a sitting prime minister.

Rudd, who swept to power on a wave of popular support in 2007, has been urged by supporters to take on Gillard who is seen to be leaking public support at an alarming rate.

However, many within the Australian political establishment see that any bid Rudd makes for the Labor leadership would come unstuck, with only 30 of the 103 Labor MPs apparently saying they would support him.

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