Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Peter FitzSimons, the head of Australia’s republic movement, announced that he would be stepping down from his position.
He had been the chairman of the Republican movement for seven years.
FitzSimons thanked his followers on Twitter for their support. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he would be stepping down from his position.
He had reportedly always planned to leave before a referendum campaign for a new republic was launched.
“I am thrilled with what has been achieved by the movement on my watch,” FitzSimons said in a written statement.
“Building on the fine work of my predecessors who kept the show on the road in the fallow years after the 1999 referendum, my colleagues and I have been able to make great strides. It is wonderful, right now, to have the republic on the agenda, to have a strong movement with expanding membership and money in the bank – and, most importantly, to have for the first time in history, a ‘Minister for the Crown devoted to removing the Crown.’” Split paragraph
The SMH reported that some members of the movement were unhappy with FitzSimons’ leadership, as the public’s support for a new republic had started to stall following the Queen’s death.
He and his wife Lisa Wilkinson, who is the host of The Project, have been criticized by conservatives for being part of an inner-city elite.
There also had been disagreements within the ARM’s leadership over the group’s role in supporting an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.