Kevin Rudd, Australia's former prime minister, quits federal politics
November 13, 2013 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Former Australian PM, Kevin Rudd on September 6, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
- Party infighting caused the Labor Party the prime ministership
- In 2009, Rudd formally apologized to the Forgotten Australians
(CNN) -- Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd bid farewell to politics, telling parliamentarians Wednesday in an emotional speech that he will step down at the end of the week.
Rudd was first elected prime minister in 2007. Party infighting caused him to lose the post to Julia Gillard in 2010.
He reclaimed the position in June in yet more infighting in the Labor Party.
But when it came to elections in September, the bookish incumbent lost to the pugnacious style of Tony Abbott.
New Australian PM Tony Abbott sworn in
Victory for Abbott in Australia
Labor infighting boosted Abbott's standing in the polls and -- under Gillard -- the party faced certain defeat at elections this year.
While the installation of Rudd as prime minister for a second time helped the party claw back some of the ground Labor lost under Gillard, many analysts said his arrival came too late to save the party.
"For our family, recent statements since the September election have been particularly hurtful," Rudd told lawmakers. "As parliamentarians you might say we become inured to all of this, although I doubt it."
Abbot's office issued a statement saying "While Mr Rudd will no longer continue as a parliamentarian, I have every confidence that he will continue to serve our country and the values that he has always believed in."
"Whatever disagreements my colleagues and I have had with Mr Rudd, we will always honour what he achieved on the day of the National Apology," the statement said. "Ancient wrongs were addressed that day. It was a great moment in our country's history and it happened because of him."
In November 2009, Rudd -- then the prime minister -- formally apologized to thousands of adults who, as impoverished British children, were brought to Australia with the promise of a better life but found abuse and forced labor.
The so-called Forgotten Australians -- children who came from British families struggling with severe poverty or from institutions in the UK -- were brought to Australia in a program that ended 40 years ago.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.