The former NSW premier, Bob Carr, has been approached to take Mark Arbib’s spot in the Senate and could be offered the Foreign Affairs portfolio.
Senior sources say Mr Carr has been approached by the NSW Right to fill the casual vacancy created by Senator Arbib’s shock departure.
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Bob Carr … approached to take Mark Arbib’s spot in the Senate. Photo: Nic Walker
While he has not given a final decision, it is understood he has requested the portfolio as a condition of accepting.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is planning a reshuffle of her ministy after yesterday’s leadership ballot and Senator Arbib’s resignation.
Kevin Rudd has moved to the back bench meaning the foreign affairs job is vacant.
Quit … Mark Arbib. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
While the NSW Labor Party is expecting a range of people to nominate for Senator Arbib’s spot, it is understood an approach has been made to Mr Carr.
As Premier of NSW from 1995 to 2005, he is still actively engaged with the ALP and most recently co-authored its post-election review.
Mr Carr is considered a Labor statesman. He has rebuffed past approaches to enter federal politics but would be entitled to a ministry if he did.
Kristina Keneally … not interested in federal politics. Photo: Janie Barrett
Others in line for the Foreign Affairs portfolio are the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson.
Mr Carr is being approached for comment.
Another former NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, has been mentioned as a possible candidate but she ruled it out on Twitter this morning.
‘‘Re Senate speculation today. I’ve said many times that I’m not going Federal. I’m not a candidate. But thank you for all the kind tweets,’’ she said.
Former ALP national president Warren Mundine is also in the mix, as is investment banker Steve Harker.
Mr Mundine said that Mr Carr would be a “magnificent” candidate for the NSW Senate spot and his background in history and foreign affairs made him a strong contender.
“Look there’s no doubt about Bob Carr,” he told the ABC, adding that he had “enormous respect” for the former NSW premier.
Mr Mundine repeated that he had no comment at this stage about his own candidacy. He said that someone should be appointed on merit and he would make his decision about running in the “next 24 hours or so”.