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Katie Hodson-Thomas quits the ‘boys club’

17th January 2008, 10:30 WST


The State Liberal party leadership controversy has already claimed an unlikely scalp, with Carine MLA Katie Hodson-Thomas announcing her shock retirement from politics at the end of her current term.

Ms Hodon-Thomas became embroiled in a bitter leadership contest between leader Paul Omodei and his deputy Troy Buswell when she claimed Mr Buswell had made inappropriate remarks to her in front of a “large number” of male colleagues.

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She went on to accuse the State Parliament of being a “boys’ club” and said members on both sides of politics needed to raise their standards regarding the treatment of female colleagues.

An emotional Ms Hodson-Thomas said her decision wasn’t based on the potential for Mr Buswell to become leader at a party room meeting being held this morning.

“It is time for someone else who has the passion that I had 11 years ago to take over,” she said.

The shadow minister for tourism and small business will retire at the next State election, due early next year.

Ms Hodson-Thomas was also the subject of unwelcome headlines when her son Curtis was convicted of drink driving after borrowing his mother’s taxpayer-funded government car.

Mr Hodson-Thomas was clocked by police driving at 108kmh in a 60kmh zone and after being stopped by police was found to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.131.

MICHAEL BENNETT and LIAM PHILLIPS