Queensland government MP David Gibson says he’s having a nervous breakdown and won’t contest next year’s election.
He stood down from parliament’s select ethics committee last week after a political rival in his Gympie electorate, north of Brisbane, published details about his past.
Mr Gibson admits he made mistakes and faced unspecified charges in 1999 but no conviction was recorded.
He says the public revelations have taken a toll on his physical and mental wellbeing.
“This afternoon I sought professional psychological support,” he said in a statement on Friday evening.
“It has been identified that I am experiencing a nervous breakdown.”
Mr Gibson is taking sick leave, and for the sake of his health, the third-term MP won’t contest the next state election.
“I will be departing from political life,” he said.
“I hope that once I recover from my current health issues that I will be able to continue in my role as the member for Gympie until the end of this term of parliament.”
Mr Gibson alleges he has been subjected to a two-year campaign of intimidation and blackmail and is launching a defamation suit against political rival Scott Elms, who published details about his past.
When selected as a candidate for the 2006 election, Mr Gibson didn’t disclose the matter and Premier Campbell Newman says he found out about a number of claims a month ago.
Mr Newman has asked the police and the Speaker to investigate whether there has been an attempt to blackmail and intimidate Mr Gibson.
Premier Campbell Newman said the last few weeks had been very difficult for Mr Gibson and his family.
“My thoughts are with him,” he said.
“I wish David a speedy recovery as I know he wants to resume work serving the people of Gympie as soon as possible.”