Kate Ellis to quit politics: 'I can't bear the thought of 20 weeks away from my son'

Kate Ellis to quit politics: ‘I can’t bear the thought of 20 weeks away from my son’

Labor frontbencher Kate Ellis has this morning announced she will quit politics and will not contest her Adelaide seat at the next election.

“I have made this decision for one simple reason: I cannot bear the thought of spending at least 20 weeks of every year in Canberra away from my son, who will be starting school in the next term of Parliament, and from the rest of my family,” Ellis said in a statement.

“Ultimately, we all have to make choices and I know that regularly missing things like my son’s first day at school, his first sporting match, or even just tucking him in at night or being there when he is sick and wants his mum, would make me absolutely miserable.”

Ellis will step down from the early childhood education portfolio immediately meaning Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will have to reshuffle his front bench.

Shorten has praised Ellis on her “outstanding” parliamentary service and says she will be missed.

“We admire her strengths, as a policy thinker, as a campaigner and as a trailblazer. But we also know Kate wants the chance to spend precious time with her son Sam. We respect her decision,” Shorten said in a statement.

Her decision has prompted praise and commiserations from colleagues, peers and constituents.

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