Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff and current Sky News host Peta Credlin has confirmed she will not contest the seat of Higgins in the upcoming election.
The 49-year-old has chosen not to pursue a political career as of yet despite speculation she would run for the Victorian seat, The Australian reported on Wednesday.
According to the publication, sources close to Credlin said she doesn’t wish to make a resurgence in politics and step into the seat that has been held by Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer since 2009.
Credlin is reportedly enjoying her current position with Sky News, however, she may consider jumping back into the political ring at a by-election in the next term if a Victorian seat was to emerge.
The announcement follows news over the weekend that O’Dwyer will stand down from her position in parliament and not re-contest her Melbourne electorate at the election.
In a statement released on Saturday, O’Dwyer said her decision is based on her desire to spend more time with her family, adding her and partner Jon Mant are hoping to have a third child and she was tired of not being able to spend quality time with her children.
“After much agonising and with a heavy heart, I am announcing that I will not recontest the next election,” the Herald Sun reported 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.”
Her decision highlighted the ongoing debate around women in the Liberal Party and comes just months after fellow Victorian Julia Banks quit the party to move to the crossbench.
Banks delivered a scathing critique of the party in her resignation letter, accusing its male leaders of putting their own interests ahead of voters’ and arguing the party was years behind the business world in their level of regard and respect for women in politics.
“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.
Following O’Dwyer’s resignation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was proud of her bold choice, writing on Twitter: “Was pleased to be standing by my friend and colleague @KellyODwyer today as she announced her choice for her future and her family. She has done and will continue to do an outstanding job”.
The Liberals have floated the idea of quotas for women within the party, but have leaned against laying down any rules on the issue. They’re reportedly searching for a woman to replace O’Dwyer with serving senator Jane Hume and paediatrician Katie Allen likely to put their hands up for the job.