Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced Wednesday his retirement from politics.

In an emotional speech to Parliament, Rudd said, "This has been the product of much soul searching . . . and the decision that I have been has not been taken lightly," Rudd said.

"But for me, my family is everything . . . which is why I will not be continuing as a member of this Parliament beyond this week," he said, while fighting back tears.