Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy tells Tim Smith not to run for office after drunk driving

Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy has told backbencher Tim Smith that he should not contest his electorate in Kew next year after Mr. Smith crashed his car while more than twice exceeding the legal alcohol limit.

Guy said he met with Smith on Monday and “made it very clear to Tim that he would not find his way to the front bench of any parliamentary liberal party I lead”.

“And I made it clear that I did not want him to nominate at the next election and that I did not believe he should nominate for the seat in Kew,” he said.

“Tim has and will reflect on my advice to him, he will then make a statement in his own time, I hope sooner rather than later.”

Guy said he expected Smith to meet with the media at a news conference tomorrow to answer questions about his future, but noted that he was “very saddened”.

Guy said it had been difficult since Mr Smith was “my friend, not just a colleague”.

“But I’m sorry, it’s the right decision, the right way to go for the sake of the people of Victoria, and that’s more important,” he said.

But Mr Guy said he did not think Mr Smith needed to step down before the next election and trigger the cost to taxpayers of a by-election.

The MP crashed into the Hawthorn House before testing more than double the legal limit

On Sunday, Smith withdrew from the shadow cabinet, apologizing for passing a blood alcohol test, calling it a “serious misjudgment.”

Victoria Police confirmed that officers responded to reports that a car had collided with another vehicle on Power Street in Hawthorn before it crashed into a fence around 1 p.m. 20.55.

Fence with plywood and red and white tape covering one panel.
Tim Smith crashed his car into this Hawthorn home after a night on the town with friends.(ABC: Leanne Wong)

In a statement, Smith said he thought he was below the legal limit for driving home after dinner with friends, but “this was not the case”.

“I was breath tested and gave a positive reading,” he said in a statement.

He had returned an evidence breath test of 0.131.

‘Spectacular implosion’ for ‘controversial figure’: former Prime Minister

Sir. Smith was appointed to the role of shadow advocate in September, after Mr. Guy was reinstated as the Victorian Liberal leader.

Sir. Smith moved the waste proposal, which led to Mr. Guy reiterated the party’s leadership from Michael O’Brien.

This morning, former Liberal Prime Minister Ted Baillieu said Smith had become a responsibility to the Liberal Party.

“It’s been a pretty spectacular implosion for someone who, let’s say, has been a controversial figure on the coalition side of politics,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“He’s someone who’s played hard on the front line and it’s come full circle.”


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