After the drunk and drive accident last week, Tim Smith, after making an attempt to dig in, has finally announced to quit politics.
At the time of crash, Tim Smith’s BAC was more than double the legal limit.
He says he will not be re-contesting at the next election.
On Sunday morning Tim Smith announced he would not be contesting at the next election, ending his political career.
“In view of the response by the Leader of the Opposition, I believe it is in the best interests of the party that I do not contest the next election in Kew,” he said in a statement to his electorate.
Tim Smith’s exit from politics can only be seen as a win for Opposition leader Matthew Guy. He issued a statement supporting Tim Smith’s decision and thanked the disgraced MP for his service to the party and the state.
“Tim Smith’s decision today to not renominate for his seat of Kew is no doubt an exceedingly hard one, but it’s an honourable one and one that I support,” he wrote.
Also read: Former Opposition leader Matthew Guy is back
“He has acknowledged that his actions one week ago were dangerous and wrong and he has paid an immense price for those actions.
“Tim has served his constituents, the people of Victoria, and the Liberal Party with passion, dedication and tireless commitment.
“I commend him for his decision and sincerely wish him the very best and would ask for his privacy to be respected.”
When Victorian Labor MP Will Fowles was caught in the drunken incident having kicked a hole in the Canberra hotel door, it was Tim Smith who was most vocal call for Will Fowles’ political scalp.
Now, when the boot was on the other foot, having blown a BAC of 0.131 after the drunken crash, there Tim Smith wanted a second chance.
“Not a chance”, was the response from his leader Matthew Guy.
Matthew Guy, after talking to Tim Smith, told the media he had advised Tim Smith not to contest at the next election and that he would not get a front bench berth while he was party leader.
Tim Smith first wanted to dig in. In defiance to his leader, on Wednesday, he told the media he wanted to be given a second chance and vowed “never to drink again in public life”. He also wanted to consult his electorate.
Only four days later, he announced he would quit politics at the next election and would not recontest his seat of Kew in 2022.
Political commentators see this a big win for Matthew Guy and believe his call on Tim Smith raises his political fortunes immensely. This is seen in the context of Daniel Andrews being quick in making similar calls in no time if circumstances warranted.