“Clearly my acceptance of this role is now untenable with the amount of media coverage this appointment has received,” Barilaro said.
“I think my appointment will remain a distraction and will not allow this important role to achieve what it was designed for, and thus my decision.
“I emphasize that I have always maintained that I followed the process and look forward to the results of the assessment.”
Barilaro’s appointment as NSW Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for the US, a post he created when he was Secretary of Commerce, was under immense scrutiny.
It was learned that the lead candidate for the $500,000-a-year role, Jenny West, had withdrawn her offer due to a “government decision”.
The inquiry found that Amy Brown of Investment NSW was asked what “other mechanisms” the trading roles could be appointed, including whether it could be a “ministerial appointment”.
Brown also told the inquiry that she feared a “certain minister” would interfere with the nomination.
“Who worried about your veto?” Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey asked Brown.
“I was worried that the Deputy Prime Minister’s office would feel like they had veto power,” Brown said.
Brown released a statement tonight confirming that Barilaro had informed her that he was withdrawing from the role.
The appointment of the former deputy prime minister to the sought-after role came just six months after he resigned from politics.
Barilaro would start the role in just two weeks.
Throwback photos of federal politicians