Two senior Australian ministers have announced surprise resignations, only days after Prime Minister Julia Gillard called early elections.
Chris Evans, the government leader in the Senate, and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon both said they were quitting politics for personal reasons.
The resignations will come as a severe blow for the Labor Party. Gillard said she would swear in a new cabinet tomorrow before parliament sits for the first time this year. She praised the contributions of Evans and Roxon and revealed she had known for a year that neither wanted to remain in politics. “I’ve always had it in my mind that this was the time to announce new arrangements,” she said in a joint news conference with the departing ministers.