Addressing media today, an emotional Mike Baird cited personal time and health challenges facing his family as part of the reason behind his shock resignation.

Baird announced the bombshell news via Twitter today, before addressing the media at a press conference within the hour. 

“My father and my mother and my sister are going through a very serious health challenge and, to be honest, at times I have been in pain not being able to spend the time that I should,” he told media. “This will change today.”

Later in the press conference, he explained that his father, former NSW Liberal Party leader Bruce Baird, had recently gone through open heart surgery, and that his mother, Judy Baird, had advanced muscular dystrophy, for which she had gone into 24-hour care.

“She’s losing function in everything, it’s very tough to watch,”
he said. About his father, who he explained prior to surgery was the primary carer for his mother: “He’s got a long road to recovery.”

He also revealed that his sister, journalist and TV presenter Julia Baird, has seen her cancer returned, and that he was in hospital with her last week.

“Those personal things obviously impact you,” said Mike Baird, who was joined at the press conference by his wife Kerryn and children. “The nature of this job makes it tough to be able to support as much as you want.”

Julia Baird underwent surgery to remove tumours in 2015, revealing in a NY Times op-ed that she was initially diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During surgery, however, it was thankfully discovered the tumours on her ovaries were not malignant, and she was diagnosed with a rarer, less aggressive form of cancer that “can recur but is nonaggressive and has a much higher survival rate.”

A new Premier will be announced after a spill of leadership positions at a Liberal party-room meeting next week. NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian is widely tipped to fill the spot.

Photo: ABC News 24.