Disgraced Victorian Liberal Tim Smith has been told to resign at the next state election after he was caught drink-driving at more than twice the legal limit and crashed into a house.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Tuesday said he had told the 38-year-old he would not be re-appointed to the front bench and urged him not to contest the 2022 state election.
“I made it very clear to Tim that he wouldn’t find his way on to the front bench of any parliamentary Liberal Party that I lead,” Mr Guy told reporters.
“And I made it clear that I didn’t want him to nominate at the next election and that I didn’t believe he should nominate for the seat of Kew.
“Tim has, and will, reflect on my advice to him. He will then make a statement in his own time. I hope sooner rather than later.”
Mr Smith crashed into a Hawthorn house on Saturday night following a dinner with friends, narrowly avoiding a child’s bedroom.
He returned a breath test reading of 0.131, prompting the immediate suspension of his licence for 12 months. He is also expected to be fined by police.
He tendered his resignation from shadow cabinet to Mr Guy on Sunday, describing his decision to drive home as a “serious error of judgement”.
Pressure is mounting on him to quit politics altogether. Several Liberal MPs have told AAP Mr Smith’s position is untenable.
But Mr Guy said it was his preference for Mr Smith, set to face the media on Wednesday, to stay in parliament until the next election.
“Enough damage has been done,” the opposition leader said.
“I don’t think a $3 million by-election is going to help anyone.”
Mr Smith is one of Mr Guy’s closest political allies and was instrumental in his return to the leadership of the party following a successful spill against Michael O’Brien in September.
“He’s a friend of mine, not just a colleague. But I’m sorry, this is the right decision and the right way to go for the sake of the people of Victoria and that’s more important,” Mr Guy said.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is also close with Mr Smith, said he should “take some time to consider his future”.
“Between him (Tim Smith) and Bernie Finn’s idiotic commentary and idiotic postings, which I found personally really quite offensive, the leader of the opposition has a chance to show what kind of stuff he’s made of,” Labor MP and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr Guy said he also planned to speak to upper house MP Bernie Finn, who in a now-deleted Facebook post likened Premier Daniel Andrews to Adolf Hitler and the government to the Nazi regime.