FOLLOWING the announcement of his resignation from the National party and as the party's candidate for the seat of New England, Richard Torbay issued a short statement late last night.
"A number of claims have been made today by the Labor Party and Tony Windsor’s office," The statement read.
"I have decided in the interests of the people of the New England electorate and the National Party to withdraw my candidacy for the forthcoming federal election.
"Given the current toxic political environment I do not want to put my family, the community or myself through an ongoing smear campaign.
"In relation to this speculation I have taken legal advice and shall be acting on that advice."