News National Andrew Southcott to exit politics

Andrew Southcott to exit politics

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South Australian Federal Liberal MP Andrew Southcott has announced he will not contest the southern Adelaide seat of Boothby at the next election.

The 47-year-old last month failed in a bid to become Speaker of the House of Representatives after Bronwyn Bishop stepped down from the role.

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Dr Southcott dismissed speculation his departure risked seeing the seat fall to a candidate of senator Nick Xenophon’s party.

“It’s really unknown. It’s still only speculation. I can only focus on what the Liberal Party should do,” Dr Southcott said.

He called for the Liberal Party to preselect a woman for the seat.

“I’d like to see a female candidate. I think it really is time for the Liberal Party to have a female candidate in one of their key Lower House seats.

“Contests in Boothby are always robust contests but I’m confident the Liberal Party has every chance of holding the seat at the next election.”

He said his decision not to stand again after 19-and-a-half years in the seat was “completely unrelated” to not getting the Speaker’s job.

“To serve in Canberra for that length of time does take sacrifices, I’ve been away a lot from my family so I just do feel the time has come for me, I would like to return to medical practise … once I’ve fulfilled my obligation in a parliamentary sense,” he said.

“I’ve been very proud about delivering the state aquatic centre at Marion, the Flinders Cancer Centre and also breaking the roadblock on the South Road upgrade at Darlington.

“At a national level, I think that I’ve been involved in health policy for the last 19-and-a-half years, that is something I would like to continue.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Dr Southcott as a “hardworking and effective local member”.

Dr Southcott was first elected to Parliament in 1996.

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