Jacinta Allan confirmed as Daniel Andrews new deputy – will she be Victoria’s next premier?
Daniel Andrews’ new female deputy has been confirmed in Victoria – so is she now a favorite to become the state’s next prime minister?
- Dan Andrews deputy has been named as highly experienced Jacinta Allan, 48
- Transport infrastructure minister tipped to replace Andrews as prime minister
- Four senior ministers announced their retirement from Victorian politics
Dan Andrews has a new deputy after a faction agreement promoted the widely-tipped woman to become his successor.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, Australia’s longest-serving female minister, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Victoria.
It is clear that Andrews wants Mrs Allan to succeed him in the top position, although they are both from the left-wing Labor Party and successors usually come from the opposing side.
She was elected to parliament in 1999 when, at the age of 26, she defeated a sitting Liberal MP more than twice her age in the rural town of Bendigo.
Despite only being 48 years old, she could soon revive a long Australian political tradition of a woman taking over from a man struggling in the top job.
Jacinta Allan, 48-year-old transport infrastructure minister, is Australia’s longest-serving female minister and has now been appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Victoria
It is clear that Andrews wants Mrs Allan to succeed him in the top post, although they are both from the left-wing Labor Party.
The prime minister said he was “delighted” by Ms Allan’s promotion, but denied they had discussed any transfer to the role of prime minister.
He also sought to stem any lingering tensions between the factions.
“My verdict is that the best person should get the job,” Andrews said.
“YES is simply excellent and it is fitting that the caucus elected her unanimously.”
The change was part of a major uproar after four high-profile resignations from Andrews’ cabinet.
The prime minister lashed out at a reporter who accused him of having “no idea what was going on” when four of his senior ministers resigned on Friday.
“With the utmost respect, it is not my place to make announcements by answering your fishing questions,” Andrews said in response to the reporter’s questions.
The prime minister said he was “elated” about Ms Allan’s promotion, but denied they had discussed any transfer to the prime minister’s role.
Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino (left) and Health Secretary Martin Foley (right) confirmed they would step down to focus on fatherhood and spend more time with their children
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister James Merlino, Health Secretary Martin Foley, Police Secretary Lisa Neville and Sports and Tourism Secretary Martin Pakula all resigned last week.
Merlino, of the party’s right wing, has previously been touted as a possible successor to Andrews.
But there was also pressure for the role of deputy to go to a woman.
Liberal MP James Newbury said the resignations were “like rats jumping off a sinking ship”.
The resignation was interpreted as a major blow to Labor hopes of reelection in the November 26 state election.
Andrews is seeking a third consecutive four-year term after serving as Prime Minister since December 2014.
Speaker Colin Brooks entered the cabinet along with two other right-wing ALP MPs, Lizzie Blandthorn and Steve Dimopoulos.
Jacinta Allan, 48, was elected to parliament in 1999 when, at age 26, she defeated a sitting Liberal MP more than twice her age in the rural town of Bendigo
Sports Secretary Martin Pakula (left) and Lisa Neville (right) are also expected to announce that they will both be retiring in November.
The left-wing Labor party chose Harriet Shing and Sonya Kilkenny to join the cabinet.
Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards was named as the new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
St Albans MP Natalie Suleyman is the new Deputy Speaker.