Vic Liberal candidate quits over tweets
A Victorian Liberal candidate who resigned over a series of crude tweets has apologised, but claims some of the social media posts were taken out of context.
Aaron Lane, the endorsed Liberal candidate for the upper house seat of Western Region in the upcoming November 29 state election, resigned on Friday after the tweets came to light.
Mr Lane apologised for the “inappropriate and offensive tweets” posted more than two years ago on a private account.
“I really regret the fact these tweets were there, I regret the offence. I’m deeply embarrassed by it. I’m ashamed of it,” Mr Lane told ABC radio.
“I think we’ve all said things that on reflection we wish we hadn’t.
“The problem that’s befallen me today is that some of these tweets have been stripped of all context.”
He said he resigned because he didn’t want the scandal “hanging around the neck of the government”.
Mr Lane withdrew his candidacy for the election before a meeting of the Liberal Party’s administrative committee to discuss his future on Friday afternoon.
Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach said while Mr Lane had apologised unreservedly for the comments, the party believed it was important to send a strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The Liberal Party acknowledges that the comments made by Mr Lane on social media are hurtful to many people and are entirely unacceptable,” Mr Mantach said in a statement.
Premier Denis Napthine also slammed the tweets just hours before Mr Lane’s resignation.
“There is no place in my team or in the coalition team for this sort of behaviour and these sort of comments,” he told reporters.
Some of the posts published in the media use the term “faggots” and one states “The problem is (IMO) many homos make their sexuality a defining aspect of their being”.
In one post he refers to former Labor leader Simon Crean as “a giant C”.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the views were offensive and wrong.
“There is no place for this sort of bigotry and hatred in the Victorian parliament or anywhere in our state,” he said.