Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has announced her departure from politics in a shock move ahead of the election.
In a statement released on Saturday, O’Dwyer said her decision is based upon her desire to spend more time with her family.
“After much agonising and with a heavy heart, I am announcing that I will not recontest the next election,” the Herald Sun reports she said.
“I no longer want to consistently miss seeing my children get up in the morning or go to bed at night and I want to know that when I am around my time with them is not constantly disrupted.”
The politician went on to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his support, claiming he is the right person to lead the country.
The news comes just months after O’Dwyer labelled the Liberal Party “homophobic, anti-women, climate change deniers” in a meeting following Labor’s easy win in the Victorian election.
According to a report in The Australian at the time, the Aussie politician slammed her own party, taking a brutal swipe at Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger in particular.
O’Dwyer reportedly called for Kroger to stand down from his position during a meeting of Victorian federal Liberal MPs, which was also attended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. She placed blame on Kroger for the Liberal Party’s shocking election loss, which saw Daniel Andrews claim an overwhelming victory over Matthew Guy.
Just hours after O’Dwyer’s speech in November, fellow Victorian MP Julia Banks announced she had quit the Liberal Party in a stinging resignation letter that took aim at the party’s attitude towards women.
“Often when good women ‘call out’ or are subjected to bad behaviour – the reprisals, backlash and commentary portrays them as the bad ones; the liar, the troublemaker, emotionally unstable or weak, or someone who should be silenced,” she said.
“To those who say politics is not for the faint hearted and that women have to ‘toughen up’ – I say this: the hallmark characteristics of the Australian woman (and I’ve met thousands of them) be they in my local community, in politics, business, the media and sport – are resilience and a strong authentic independent spirit.”