Victorian Liberal candidate Aaron Lane, who made crude comments on social media, has resigned as the party's candidate for an upper house seat at November's state election.
A statement from Liberal party State Director Damien Mantach on Friday afternoon said Mr Lane had withdrawn his candidacy before a meeting with the Party’s Administrative Committee.
"The Liberal Party acknowledges that the comments made by Mr Lane on social media are hurtful to many people and are entirely unacceptable,'' Mr Mantach said.
"While Mr Lane has unreservedly apologised for his comments, the Party believes it is important to send a strong message to the community that this behaviour will not be tolerated."
Earlier Premier Denis Napthine had called from Mr Lane to stand down after it was revealed that he made offensive comments on twitter before he was preselected.
Speaking in Bendigo on Friday morning Dr Napthine said Aaron Lane, who has been preselected for the upper house Western Region, should stand aside.
Mr Lane has been called into Liberal headquarters for a please explain after it was revealed that he had made a series of crude posts on Twitter.
“I believe that it's time for Mr Lane to step down,’’ Dr Napthine said.
"There is no place in my team or in the Coalition team for this sort of behaviour and these sorts of comments."
The Premier said the issue would be dealt with by party administration on Friday afternoon.
Mr Lane, a former Young Liberal president and fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, has been contacted for comment.
In some tweets, made before his preselection earlier this year, Mr Lane uses the derogatory term “faggots’’ and says: “The problem is (IMO) many homos make their sexuality a defining aspect of their being.’’
He also refers to former Labor leader Simon Crean as "a giant C’’.
Another tweet says that “shirts are for faggots’’.
Liberal State Director Damien Mantach on Friday confirmed that he would be speaking to Mr Lane.
“The Liberal Party finds the comments made by Mr Lane on social media to be inappropriate and offensive,’’ he said in a statement.
“The party takes these matters very seriously.’’
Revelations about Mr Lane follow earlier controversy this week when it was reported that Premier Denis Napthine instructed pro-life Liberal MP Bernie Finn to remove pictures of dead babies from his Facebook page.
And last month Fairfax Media reported that the Attorney-General Robert Clark would speak at the World Congress of Families whose managing director, Larry Jacobs, is a strong supporter of Russian laws banning gay pride demonstrations and "homosexual propaganda".
The same conference also features a speaker who links abortion to breast cancer.
Mr Lane's comments have caused angst within the party. Liberal MP for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown said there was no room for homophobic comments in Victorian politics.
Labor's spokesman on equality Martin Foley said it was clear that the Liberal Party was still home to offensive views, citing Mr Clark's attendance at "an extreme conference".
"You get kicked out of a pub with comments like this, but you don't get kicked out of the Liberal Party," Mr Foley said.
"Sacking Aaron Lane is not enough, Denis Napthine must stand up to the rest of the Liberal Party's 'hate faction' and sack them too."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber urged the Liberal Party to act on Mr Lane.
"The Liberals already have enough hatemongers in the state parliament, we don't need one more,'' Mr Barber said.
With Adam Holmes
More to come.
The story Liberal candidate Aaron Lane resigns after offensive tweets first appeared on The Age.