Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer reveals the heartbreaking reason she quit parliament while denying the party has a problem with women
- Kelly O’Dwyer said she is leaving politics strictly because of personal reasons
- The cabinet minister revealed a history of struggles as she tried to build a family
- She had children through IVF treatments and suffered a miscarriage
Cabinet minister Kelly O’Dwyer has revealed the heartbreaking reason she decided to quit politics.
Ms O’Dwyer made a shock announcement yesterday that she would not recontest her inner-Melbourne electorate of Higgins at this year’s election.
She stressed the decision was not related to accusations of bullying against women in the Liberal party.
‘I’ve made this decision for personal reasons that relate to me and my family and that’s just the truth,’ she said in a shock announcement to the press.
The 41-year-old revealed a history of struggling to try to start a family with her husband Jon, undergoing a series of IVF treatments and suffering a miscarriage in Parliament House.
‘I never ever want that to happen again,’ she said.
Cabinet minister Kelly O’Dwyer (pictured with husband Jon, son Edward and daughter Olivia) has revealed the heartbreaking reason she decided to quit politics
The Minister for Industrial Relations and Jobs and Minister for Women was in Parliament House when she tragically lost her baby.
Away from the support of her husband Jon and working at the highest levels of government only added to her heartbreak.
Ms O’Dwyer has had two children through IVF and said she and her husband hoped for another one, via the same treatment.
Her daughter Olivia is three-and-a-half years old and her son Edward is 20 months old.
‘I am so thankful to have Edward and Olivia and I don’t want to be greedy,’ Ms O’Dwyer said.
Ms O’Dwyer (pictured with Edward and Jon) stressed the decision had nothing to do with speculations of a toxic gender culture in her party
The Liberal cabinet minister also said she wanted to escape the busy grind of politics to spend more time with her children.
‘Their childhood is so short and I want to be there for them.’
Ms O’Dwyer’s shock decision was kept so secret, her closest staff only found out an hour before the announcement – as it is, the Higgins seat is held by a 10.5 per cent margin.
She said she visited a ‘supportive’ Scott Morrison on Tuesday to inform the Prime Minister of her choice to leave the seat.
The 41-year-old (pictured with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull) revealed a history of struggles in trying to start a family with a series of IVF treatments and a miscarriage along the way
On the day of the announcement, Mr Morrison heaped praise on Ms O’Dwyer and called her a ‘great woman’.
While Ms O’Dwyer will not re-contest her seat, she said she would campaign for the Liberal Party at the upcoming election.
She will keep her ministerial duties for the rest of this term of parliament.
Her resignation comes on the back of a bumpy 2018 for the Liberal Party in which it went through a leadership change and faced allegations of bullying and intimidation against female party members.
On the day of Ms O’Dwyer’s (pictured) announcement, Mr Morrison heaped praise on the cabinet minister and called her a ‘great woman’
Ms O’Dwyer’s (pictured with family and Prime Minister Scott Morrison) shock decision was kept so secret, her closest staff only found out an hour before the announcement. Pictured: Ms O’Dwyer with Prime Minister Scott Morrison