Kogarah MP Chris Minns has become the new leader of NSW Labor after his rival Michael Daley withdrew from the race.
Minns, the only candidate to nominate after Daley pulled out, was unanimously elected at the Labor caucus on Friday.
“I’m very humbled to be elected leader of the parliamentary Labor Party with huge challenges ahead for NSW Labor,” Minns said after the meeting.
“Now the hard work begins for the Labor party to get up off the mat and take the fight to the Berejiklian government and have some positive plans for the future of NSW.”
“I know that task will be difficult. I believe I am up to it.”
Daley said he dropped out “for the good of the party” since Minns, who gained at least 23 votes out of 50, had most of the caucus support. He insisted that no one within the state Labor party had ever pressured him to quit.
The withdrawal of Daley, who previously said he had gained the 15 MP signatures requisite for nomination, has saved the party branch members an extended ballot.
“It was wholeheartedly in the best interest of the party that I’m not pushing this to a ballot,” Daley told reporters.
“It was important that we unite today – Chris and I had a very constructive meeting this morning.” “He agreed he would be a leader for all of the caucus, all of the party.”
The two did not discuss if Daley will take up a position on Minns’ front bench, although the former would be happy to if offered one, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
This is Labor’s first caucus meeting after the former leader Jodi Mckay stepped down last week, following the resignation of Minns as shadow minister for transport and Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord over a “dirt dossier” incident and the Party’s defeat in the Upper Hunter by-election.
Minns, 41, was elected to NSW parliament in 2015 and served as Shadow Minister for Transport and Water before resigning last week.
This is his third try for NSW Labor leader after losing to Daley in 2018 and McKay in 2019.
“The campaign for the future direction of NSW and what both political parties will put on the table for the future starts today,” Minns told reporters.
“Wages are staying stagnant; the cost of living is getting more expensive. I think we need to have a plan for good, well-paid jobs in the regions.”