The Prime Minister, John Key, had not only lost confide' />
Richard Worth's resignation tonight altogether from Parliament is the right decision.
The Prime Minister, John Key, had not only lost confidence in him as a minister but as an MP as well.
Key said at a stand-up press conference yesterday that he had "washed his hands of him" - and that was before claims against him are proven or unproven.
The timing is right.
Worth leaves at a time when there is a sense, right or wrong, that Labour leader Phil Goff over-cooked the allegations of sexual harassment against Worth.
And if the criminal allegations against Worth by the Korean business woman do not translate to criminal charges, then questions will always remain about how fairly he was treated.
But in reality, John Key himself sealed Worth's fate, not Labour.
Key is the one who said Worth was not fit to serve as one of his ministers. Until now he has not said why.
When Key said yesterday he had washed his hands of Worth, that meant one thing: he did not want him in his caucus.
It is unlikely that Key would have been that dismissive of a constituency Member of Parliament, whatever his sins.
But a list MP, like a minister, is there because of the confidence the party has in him or her. Once that is lost by the party lead , the legitimacy for the MP to remain is lost.
In one of the most undignified exits of an MP from Parliament in recent years, Worth's decision to go now may have salvaged him a modicum of dignity.
It has severed him from the political life that never really suited him and avoided the added indignity in the next couple of weeks of being treated as an outcast by his own party.
Worth is the classic example of how high achievers do not necessarily do well in politics.
He is the former executive chairman of a top flight law firm, Simpson Grierson Butler White, from 1986 to 1999 and a highly intelligent guy.
It is generally accepted that he entered Parliament in 1999 with the ambition of becoming Attorney General. Had he made it, he probably would have made a very able and independent AG, possibly too independent.
At his best, Richard Worth is a witty, charming fellow, with an interest in all sorts of cultures and people. He has deep connections into the Establishment. Chief Justice Sian Elias was at his maiden speech.
But he has never looked comfortable within the confines of party discipline. There is something of a renegade within him but not a political renegade – someone who loved pushing boundaries and shocking people.
He is said by many, including in Labour who worked with him on the regulations review committee, to have been a superb chairman and there is no doubt he had the talent to technically have made an excellent Speaker of the House.
But among the claims and counter-claims about the conversation between Key and Goff on the May 6 allegation, the one thing that rings true was Key saying (according to Goff's notes) that Worth did not get the job of Speaker because there had been rumours about him.
I have heard that myself from National sources though, I hasten to add, not from Key.
Worth's appointment as Internal Affairs Minister must have been deeply disappointing, even humiliating. But his resignation today has saved him the humiliation and personal rejection he would have endured had he tried to claim his place in the National Caucus next week.