Extraordinary video shows a politician double-tongued his words as he tries to hold question time in parliament – before making a statement
- Curtis Pitt clearly double-tongued during Question Time
- Had just returned from furlough to resume his duties
- Cited medication for severe back pain as the cause
Queensland parliamentary speaker Curtis Pitt will step aside for a second time amid growing concerns over his health, as he denies alcohol was involved.
The troubled parliamentary speaker of the state takes further leave and has denied being drunk at the head of the chamber after hearing his words double-tongued.
Mr Pitt struggled to keep control of Wednesday’s rowdy room during a fiery question hour the day after the state budget.
He arrived late and multiple MPs from both sides of the political aisle expressed concern, knowing that he was returning from a mental health break on Tuesday.
‘Speaker is independent, so cannot be forced to give up his seat,’ a Member of Parliament says to AAP in a text message.
“Strong advice has been given, but he’s making his own decision.”
Mr Pitt left the room after Question Time and said in a statement that he was taking strong painkillers for severe back pain.
“Due to my ongoing medical issues, I have decided to take another period of leave,” the statement read.
“I suffer from severe back problems and will be having a scheduled surgery soon.
“Consequently, I take strong painkillers when needed to manage this condition, which can sometimes manifest in a variety of ways, including the onset of drowsiness.
Curtis Pitt struggled to control Wednesday’s rowdy room during a fiery question hour the day after the state budget. He arrived late and multiple MPs from both sides of the political aisle expressed concern, knowing that he was returning from a mental health break on Tuesday.
Mr Pitt said he attended a Government House meeting on Tuesday evening but left early to return to Parliament House at 7pm and was not intoxicated.
“I’ve had a lot on my plate,” he told Nine News on Wednesday.
“Today was very challenging for me because I had severe back pain.”
When asked if alcohol played a role in his appearance during Question Time, Mr Pitt replied: ‘No, no. To be clear: absolutely not.’
“I’m sorry if there has been any reflection on the office I hold (and also on the way parliament was run.”
Mr Pitt previously took a break, citing family and mental health concerns.
On the eve of his return to parliament, the five-term MP posted a photo of four Superman models, saying it was essential to get help and not everyone had to be a man of steel.
Mr Pitt went on leave after May’s Cairns regional parliament meetings in his electorate of Mulgrave.
He later took to social media to admit that things were “not going as well emotionally as I’ve claimed to someone” after separating from a two-decade marriage and dealing with ulcerative colitis, depression and his parents’ serious health issues.
Mr Pitt thanked people for their support when he returned to the chairman on Tuesday.
Deputy Chairman Joe Kelly will serve as chairman.
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