As Nick Demiris himself confirmed to Neos Kosmos he will be taking over as Victorian Liberal Party’s state director from Simon Frost, who resigned last month to take a senior posting in the Turnbull government.
This decision was received amidst shock and anger among state Liberal MPs at a party room meeting in parliament on Thursday, after Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and the Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger agreed on it.
“I’ve known Nick for many years and was pleased he put his hand up to be our new state director,” Mr Guy told Neos Kosmos’ journalist Eugenia Pavlopoulou.
“Nick has been involved at the highest levels of the Liberal Party for many years and will be a great campaign director. We’ve had some great contributions in the Liberal Party from Hellenic Australians including my great friend Andrew Katos MP and former state director under Jeff Kennett, Petro Georgiou.”
Several members however, including Canberra-based Liberal MPs, expressed their disappointment regarding Mr Demiris’ new position and and voiced their concerns as to what the appointment of a former staffer to Kevin Andrews would mean for the party.
According to a Liberal source, Mr Demiris had impressed party bosses with a presentation on how to win the state election; he was ‘clearly the best candidate for the job’, the Herald Sun reported, adding that “Mr Guy’s allies have been left reeling by this. [They] are openly questioning his judgment and even his character.”
Politics and power games aside, most MPs have questioned his campaign experience deeming him an ‘illfitting choice’, someone ‘unable to fill Simon Frost’s shoes’.
Having lost his preselection battle, Demiris was appointed as the party’s deputy campaign director, and has since been seen as Kroger’s protegee.
Even his placement as deputy campaign director was received with disgruntlement in Liberal ranks.