Chris Bowen Announces He Will Challenge Albanese For The Labor Leadership

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has announced he will run for the Labor leadership, joining Anthony Albanese as a contender for the vacant role of Opposition Leader.

Bowen’s announcement comes after likely contender Tanya Plibersek excused herself from the role on Monday, saying she did not want to balance the important responsibilities she has with her family with the Labor leadership.

Speaking outside his childhood home in western Sydney, Bowen said the Morrison government had no plans or policies for economic growth, insisted the fight to claim top spot in the Labor Party was not a factional ballot, and defended the party’s franking credits policy – which he designed.

“We lost this election for a whole range of elections some of which we haven’t determined,” he said.

“Franking credits was a controversial policy… but I don’t accept that we lost the election because of it.”

Bowen said the entire party needed to review its policies and start again, but insisted he would not be a candidate for deputy leader “under any circumstances.”

On Melbourne’s 3AW radio, Albanese said economic strength needs to be “at the core of the narrative” and refused to compare himself to Bowen.

“I’m running on my merits,” he said. “I’m running for the leadership because I think I’m the best candidate. 

Im running against Scott Morrison, I want to be the person who leads Labor back into government.”

Albanese is widely regarded as part of Labor’s NSW left, while Bowen represents the more conservative side of the party. Albanese called the label “irrelevant.”

“I regard myself as old Labor, someone grounded in very strong values,” he said.

Labor’s Jim Chalmers has also been raised as a possible leader candidate. He told the ABC’s ‘Q&A’ on Monday evening he was “considering it.”

Elsewhere, Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon told ‘The Today Show’ he was “prepared to run” for the job, mentioning how great he thought a strong coal mining industry is.