Australian PM Gillard seeks to rebuild after vote farce
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard began the task of rebuilding her Labor party's shattered image on Friday after a farcical leadership ballot in which no one stood against her.
So far six politicians who sided with rival Kevin Rudd have been sacked or resigned, with more expected to go in a purge ahead of a cabinet reshuffle just six months out from national elections.
The highest profile casualty, cabinet minister Chris Bowen, fell on his sword on Friday morning while the man who instigated the ballot, former party leader Simon Crean, was fired.
With the conservative opposition vowing to put a motion of no confidence in the government at the next sitting of parliament on May 14 to try to force an early election, Ms Gillard took to the airwaves in an attempt to calm nerves.