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Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon pulls out of Labor leadership race

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Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon pulled his hat out of the ring for the role of Labor Leader yesterday. 

He released a statement saying that with Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen pulling out he is confident putting his full support behind frontbencher Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.

"Despite our loss last Saturday, the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party remains rich with outstanding talent,"

"One of those great talents is Chris Bowen and he would have made an excellent Parliamentary Leader."

"With Chris out of the contest I am now free to put my support behind Anthony Albanese."

"I’ve had a long discussion with Albo about my demands that the Party strengthens its focus on regional Australia, provides it with a meaningful seat at the Party’s decision making table, and engages more on the issues which matter most to working people living in our great regions."

"I am satisfied that a Labor Party led by Anthony Albanese will provide that focus and he’ll listen closely to the needs and aspirations of our country people.  As a consequence, I will not be a part of the Leadership contest," concluded Joel Fitzgibbon. 

Nominations officially opened this morning for the Labor leadership.

On Joel Fitzgibbon, Anthony Albanese thanked him for his support.

"Joel Fitzgibbon, who is the last remaining Labor member of the class of '96 has announced that he will not contest the leadership of the Labor Party and I am humbled by the fact that he has announced his support for my candidacy in particular because he believes that I am the best person to understand issues relating to regional Australia and jobs and my affinity with people including of course in his hunter community," said Anthony Albanese.

Image credit: Joel Fitzgibbon MP