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Kevin Rudd's statement to the media before caucus meeting

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard anmd Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan address the media.  Click for more photos

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Let me just say a few things guys.

When I say to my parliamentary colleagues and to the people at large across Australia that I would not challenge for the Labor leadership - I believe in honouring my word.

Others treat such commitments lightly. I do not.

I've been very plain about that for a long period of time.

Secondly, I said that the only circumstances under which I would consider a return to the 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. And therefore in the absence of any such draft, notwithstanding what Simon Crean had to say this morning, I will be adhering absolutely to the commitments I gave to the Australian people and to my Parliamentary colleagues.

This is a difficult day for the Australian Labor Party – a difficult day for the Australia government but I take my word seriously. I've 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 Tony Abbott does not simply treat the Lodge as if it's his own personal property. We're a Government with a proud record in health and education and the economy a record upon which we should robustly stand.

But I am 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 am going to caucus.

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