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Will Hodgman reveals social media attacks on his children forced him to quit as Tasmanian premier


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A father-of-three has revealed he quit as Tasmanian Premier because social media trolls were harassing his children

A father-of-three has revealed he quit as Tasmanian Premier because social media trolls were harassing his children.

Will Hodgman announced on Tuesday he would be stepping down as Liberal leader after almost six years leading the island state.

The 50-year-old Premier has now revealed that social media attacks on his three children, William, James and Lily were a factor in his decision to also resign from Parliament.

‘It does also take its toll. I need to balance them up in this as well,’ he told ABC radio in Hobart on Thursday.

‘Involving them directly, there are circumstances where they get roped into stuff on social media.

‘It’s unpleasant and it can be damaging to kids right across our state.’ 

Mr Hodgman isn’t the first conservative state premier to quit less than two years after winning an election as a result of his children being targeted on social media.

Mike Baird, who is also a married father-of-three, announced in January 2017 he would resign as New South Wales premier and from Parliament.

The former NSW Liberal leader revealed several months later his daughters were bullied on social media as a result of his Coalition government’s controversial lock-out laws, which are being repealed this week.

One of them, Laura, even moved from Sydney to Port Macquarie, on the NSW Mid-North Coast, to escape the bullying.

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Will Hodgman (pictured with wife Nicky) announced on Tuesday he would be stepping down as Liberal leader after almost six years leading the island state

Will Hodgman (pictured with wife Nicky) announced on Tuesday he would be stepping down as Liberal leader after almost six years leading the island state

The 50-year-old Premier has now revealed that social media attacks on his three children, William, James and Lily (second, left next to his wife Nicky) were a factor in his decision to also resign from Parliament

The 50-year-old Premier has now revealed that social media attacks on his three children, William, James and Lily (second, left next to his wife Nicky) were a factor in his decision to also resign from Parliament

In both cases, the premiers who quit in a bid to spare their children from social media attacks were the sons of state and federal MPs.

Will Hodgman’s father Michael sat in both houses of the Tasmanian Parliament and served as a federal minister.

Michael Hodgman died in June 2013, nine months before his son led the Liberal Party to victory after 16 years in Opposition.

Mike Baird’s father Bruce was a state government minister and a federal backbencher. 

Tasmania’s Liberal Party is expected to meet next week to decide Will Hodgman’s replacement.

Mr Hodgman isn't the first Premier to quit less than two years after winning an election as a result of his children being targeted on social media (he is pictured far right with son James, daughter Lily and Geelong AFL star Patrick Dangerfield)

Mr Hodgman isn’t the first Premier to quit less than two years after winning an election as a result of his children being targeted on social media (he is pictured far right with son James, daughter Lily and Geelong AFL star Patrick Dangerfield)

Mike Baird (pictured with wife Kerryn) announced in January 2017 would resign as New South Wales premier. The former NSW Liberal leader revealed several months later his daughters were bullied on social media as a result of his Coalition government's controversial lock-out laws, which are being repealed this week

Mike Baird (pictured with wife Kerryn) announced in January 2017 would resign as New South Wales premier. The former NSW Liberal leader revealed several months later his daughters were bullied on social media as a result of his Coalition government’s controversial lock-out laws, which are being repealed this week

The frontrunners are Deputy Premier and Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff and Treasurer Peter Gutwein.

Mr Hodgman, whose father, grandfather and uncle served in politics, said he made the final decision to step down in the past few days.

He had told media as recently as December that he had no plans to quit.

Mr Hodgman thanked his wife Nicky and their children for their support.

In both cases, the premiers who quit in a bid to spare their children from social media attacks were the sons of state and federal MPs (Will Hodgman is pictured with wife Nicky and their children Lily and James in March 2018 after the Liberal Party was re-elected for a second term)

In both cases, the premiers who quit in a bid to spare their children from social media attacks were the sons of state and federal MPs (Will Hodgman is pictured with wife Nicky and their children Lily and James in March 2018 after the Liberal Party was re-elected for a second term)

‘Our children have grown up with me in the public spotlight and it often hasn’t been easy,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘There is no denying that this job has an impact on your personal life and your family.

‘But we’ve done it together, and they’ve supported me all the way.’

Mr Hodgman, Tasmania’s 45th premier, was first elected as a state MP in 2002 and became leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party in 2006.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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