Friday, September 5, 2008

Morris Iemma in tears after resigning as NSW Premier

FOR the first time in 117 years, Labor has dumped a Premier - and Morris Iemma has announced at a press conference that he will quit politics.

Morris Iemma broke down in tears as he announced his resignation to his colleagues shortly before 11.30 this morning.

Shortly afterwards the father of four phoned his wife Santina.

Newcomer Nathan Rees, 42, who has been in parliament for less than 18 months, will be announced as the new Premier this afternoon with Carmel Tebbutt as his deputy.

Sources inside the party room claimed Mr Iemma wasn't given a choice.

His right wing faction issued the Premier with an ultimatum that he either step down or resign in a meeting of Centre Unity this morning.

It was meant to be a meeting to decide the Government's new Cabinet after the sacking of Treasurer Michael Costa last nightand the resignation of deputy premier John Watkins on Wednesday.

But when Mr Iemma's plan included a complete purge of the front bench, including Treasurer Michael Costa, Health Minister Reba Meagher and community services Minister Kevin Greene, MPs revolted.

One MP said the party room was devastated.

''There were tears," said one MP.

The right wing caucus did not put forward a candidate to replace Mr Iemma, voting to support Rees, a left wing MP and Minister for Water.


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