Kevin Rudd

(b. 1957) Australian Labor statesman, Prime Minister 2007–10

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(b. 21 Sept 1957).

Leader of the Australian Labor Party, 2006– Born in Queensland, Rudd became a diplomat before becoming a consultant. The fluent Chinese speaker and committed Christian entered parliament as a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1998. Eight years later, Rudd put up a surprise challenge to the leadership of the ALP, which he won. Rudd advocated the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq. He tried hard to reclaim the middle ground by charging the Howard government with increasing the cost of education. Rudd became prime minister when the ALP won elections in 2007, and on 3 December that year, he signed the Kyoto Protocol. Under Rudd's leadership Australia weathered the global financial crisis of the late 2000s, being one of the few western economies to avoid entering recession, and his government enjoyed exceptionally high public approval ratings until the first part of 2010. Rudd shelved his flagship emissions trading scheme, and he became increasingly unpopular within his party for showing weak leadership on this issue. On 24 June 2010, having lost the support of his party, Rudd resigned. He was replaced as ALP leader and prime minister by his deputy, Julia Gillard. After the general election in August, Gillard appointed him foreign minister in her minority administration.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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