LABOR’s new leadership team is set to be Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles after Victorian MP Clare O’Neil chose not to run for the deputy role.
No other challengers have put their names forward to replace Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek, with nominations to close on Monday.
Ms O’Neil said she had spoken to her colleagues about running for the deputy but they said she needed more experience bringing the party together behind a leader.
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“Richard Marles has got the skills and the qualities and the experience at this stage to be able to do that job really well,” Ms O’Neil told the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.
“Let’s wait for a few days, because I am pretty sure that when we step back from this, we’re going to see a Labor Party where women have got their rightful place around the shadow cabinet table.”
Mr Albanese is from the Left faction, while Mr Marles is from the Right.
Labor has had a man and a woman in the leadership team since 2001, but Ms O’Neil said the stars didn’t align this time for that to happen.
She had a crack at Labor’s collection of policies, which she said was “much too crowded”.
“We took a big, unwieldy, risky policy agenda to the election and it was hard to explain and it was hard to defend and very easy to weaponise,” Ms O’Neil said.
Labor’s entire front bench also faces a shake-up following last weekend’s unexpected federal election loss.
Immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann is already on the defensive amid reports he may have to make way on the front bench for Kristina Keneally.
The caucus and the eventual leader will allocate the portfolios but Mr Neumann was quick to remind people he had been in parliament since Kevin Rudd was swept to power in 2007.
“We can’t keep giving over 20 seats to the LNP in Queensland out of 30 and think that we will form government nationally,” he told the ABC on Saturday.
But former Labor treasurer and now the party’s national president Wayne Swan believes “failure to win isn’t fatal”.
“What’s required is the courage to fight on against the Trumpification of the Libs & their alliance with the far right,” he tweeted.
Mr Albanese is confident but not complacent about becoming leader, and is promising to be tough on the government when parliament returns.
The Labor caucus is expected to meet as early as Wednesday to confirm its leadership team, including deputy leader and senior Senate personnel.
© AAP 2019