Robert McClelland announces retirement

FORMER Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has announced he will retire this year.

Mr McClelland released a statement on Tuesday afternoon revealing he would not seek preselection for his New South Wales seat of Barton in the coming federal election.

He was a key supporter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and held the senior Cabinet portfolio under Mr Rudd's leadership.

His announcement marks the end of a tough two years for the MP, after Prime Minister Julia Gillard demoted the politician from Attorney-General under Mr Rudd's leadership.

"After almost 17 years in Federal Parliament my decision has not been taken lightly and follows discussions over the Christmas recess with my family and friends," Mr McClelland wrote.

"I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the constituents of Barton.

"I owe them a deep sense of gratitude for their support over the past 17 years."

Mr McClelland's retirement comes as speculation rises that former NSW Premier Morris Iemma may be a front-runner for preselection in Barton.


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