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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
NSW politician attempts suicide
John Brogden at a press conference to announce his resignation
Mr Brogden had been tipped as a future state premier
A disgraced Australian politician, John Brogden, has apparently attempted to commit suicide.

Just two days ago, Mr Brogden stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales, after calling an opponent's wife a "mail order bride".

He was taken to hospital after being found unconscious with self-inflicted stab wounds in his office late Tuesday.

The case has outraged many Australians, who accuse the media of putting Mr Brogden under too much pressure.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott called the press coverage of the incident "ruthless".

Peter Debnam, the man tipped to take his place as Liberal leader in New South Wales, said journalists had not stopped their criticism of Mr Brogden, despite his resignation and apologies to the people he had offended.

Mr Brogden has now been discharged from hospital, but the ballot to replace him as party leader is likely to be postponed until Friday, with members of the party expected to be too upset to continue with the vote.

Apology

John Brogden stepped down on Monday, after apologising for insulting the wife of former state premier Bob Carr.

Bob Carr and wife Helena in February 2005
Bob Carr, pictured with his wife Helena, said he forgave Mr Brogden
He admitted having had a few drinks on the night he made the offending comments - at a party to celebrate Mr Carr's recent departure from office - but denied being drunk.

At the same function, he also pinched the bottom of a female journalist and propositioned another.

"I acted dishonourably and now is the time to act honourably," he told reporters as he announced his resignation.

Before the incident, Mr Brogden had been tipped as a likely successor to Mr Carr in the next state elections.

Bob Carr said on Wednesday that he and his wife had forgiven Mr Brogden and sent him their best wishes.

"Let's get on with it, let him rebuild his life - he's got a big role as a citizen and as a father and husband," Mr Carr told reporters.





SEE ALSO:
NSW politician quits after slur
29 Aug 05 |  Asia-Pacific
New South Wales head steps down
27 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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