South Australian Liberal MP Mark Brindal has announced he is officially withdrawing his name as a candidate for the state seat of Adelaide at next year’s election on the heels of revelations he had an affair with a 24-year-old man earlier this year.
The affair is the subject of a police investigation.
Mr Brindal was to contest the marginal seat of Adelaide at the next state election after agreeing to step aside from Unley. He says the events of the past five days have left him no choice but to withdraw his candidacy.
“In having something that people think they can pin you up on the wall for, and that’s exactly what’s happened to me,” he said. “It happens to gay people all of the time.”
Brindal said he has nothing to fear about the legality of his relationship with the man, who is under the care of the Guardianship Board. He said their relationship developed after the two had been acquaintances for several months.
In addressing the Australian media, Brindal said he has been honest and upfront in respect to his actions and involvement. He said that however inappropriate his actions were, the matter remains deeply personal and private and needs to be worked through with his loved ones.
Brindal said he will serve out his parliamentary term as the Member for Unley.
“Twenty thousand people in Unley had the right to choose me as their candidate,” he said. “Now they didn’t know anything about my sexuality, but quite frankly I don’t know anything about most of theirs either and they’ve now found out something and whether that makes a difference to them or not, I don’t know.”
The SA Opposition Leader, Rob Kerin, said he respects Brindal’s decision to withdraw his candidacy, but adds that his colleague has paid a significant price for what he has also conceded was a serious error of judgment.
“It takes courage to stand up and do what Mark has done over the last couple of days,” Kerin said. “Mark’s contribution to politics over the past sixteen years is not forgotten as we all focus on the current issue.”
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