(UDHAYAM, AUSTRALIA) – Mike Baird, the leader of Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, has announced he is quitting politics.
At a tearful news conference, the premier said he would stand down after 10 years in public life.
“I said many times I didn’t want to become a career politician,” he said on Thursday. “Today, I am making good on that pledge.”
Mr Baird was one of Australia’s most popular politicians, but recent polls showed a drop in his approval rating.
He said his resignation would take effect immediately after a party meeting next week to elect a new leader.
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian is considered his most likely successor.
“I think everyone’s in shock,” NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said. “Today’s announcement, of course, truly shows the measure of the man and that he’s putting family first.”