Here is what Rudd told reporters outside of the Caucus meeting only moments ago:

“I believe in honouring my word… others take such commitments lightly, I do not.

“I have been very plain about that for a long period of time.

“Secondly, I have also said that the only circumstances under which I would consider a return to leadership would be if there was an overwhelming majority of the parliamentary party requesting such a return, drafting me to return and the position was vacant.

“I am here to inform you that those circumstances do not exist.

“Therefore, in the absence of any such draft not withstanding what Simon Crean had to say this morning, I will be adhering absolutely to the commitment that I gave the Australian people and to my parliamentary colleagues.

“This is a difficult day for the Australian Labor Party, it is a difficult day for is a Australian government, but I take my word seriously.

“I have given that word. I gave it solemnly in that room after the last ballot and I will adhere to that word today. I therefore suggest to all and sundry across the party and the Government that we unite in ensuring that Tony Abbott does not simply walk into the Lodge as if it is his own personal property.

“We are a government with a proud record. Health and education, the economy, it is a record upon which we should robustly stand.

“But I’m not prepared to dishonour my word which I gave solemnly. I will, therefore, adhere to that word as I have said before and excuse me I’m going to Caucus.”

MP Anthony Albanese has already come out in support of Kevin Rudd’s decision, saying: “I believe that Kevin Rudd has made the right decision in the party’s interests”.

Confusingly though, Mr Rudd has said that if the position (of Prime Minister) is left vacant then he would step into it.