Joke about Daniel Andrews’ devastating fall sparks social media uproar after photos emerged of the two small steps he fell from

  • Liberal MP Richard Riordan joked that Premier Dan Andrews should avoid stairs
  • Premier had acute compression fracture of T7 vertebra and five fractured ribs 
  • Mr Riordan accused of ‘stoking the fires of conspiracy’ over Mr Andrews’ fall 

A Liberal MP has sparked outrage for joking about the Victorian Premier falling over last year and suffering a spinal injury. 

Mr Andrews slipped on wet steps at a rented holiday home in Sorrento, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, in March 2021. 

The fall gave left him with an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra and five fractured ribs – requiring him to take a months-long leave of absence. 

It was so horrific Mr Andrews’ wife Catherine thought he was going to die, but that did not stop n Polwarth MP Richard Riordan from joking about it on Facebook.

With the story back in the news because the location where the fall occurred finally emerged – on two small steps – Mr Riordan joked on Sunday that the Premier should avoid stairs.

Daniel Andrews (pictured right) suffered an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra and five fractured ribs when he slipped on wet steps at a rented holiday home.

Daniel Andrews (pictured right) suffered an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra and five fractured ribs when he slipped on wet steps at a rented holiday home.

The stairs that Victorian Premier Dan Andrews says he fell off and suffered such catastrophic injuries that his wife thought he was going to die have been revealed to be two low wooden planks

The stairs that Victorian Premier Dan Andrews says he fell off and suffered such catastrophic injuries that his wife thought he was going to die have been revealed to be two low wooden planks

‘Dear Mr Andrews in light of the terrible luck you have on holidays, I would suggest if you wish to try somewhere other than the Mornington Peninsula, please don’t come down to the Great Ocean Road,’ Mr Riordan wrote.

‘We have the worlds (sic) best views, but most spots have quite a lot of stairs, and our region is renowned as a popular bike riding area.

‘As nothing is ever your fault I can’t guarantee you will have an accident free visit.’

The post led Mr Riordan to be accused of ‘stoking the fires of conspiracy’. 

ABC Melbourne presenter Rafael Epstein tweeted that ‘Shadow Housing Minister and Liberal MP making jokes about someone’s serious spinal injury and stoking the fires of conspiracy.

‘(Richard Riordan) should be better than this. Also, it’s bad strategy. Leave the focus on … I don’t know. Your party’s policy today?’

Hutch Hussein, Labor’s candidate running against Mr Riordan, tweeted that ‘he has once again shown he’s not fit for office with such bad judgement and mocking of the Premier’s serious injury.’

A retired consultant tweeted that ‘I hope their gutter politics disgusts enough people so that they vote LNP last. Richard Riordan is clearly a gutter politician.’

Richard Riordan (pictured right with fellow Liberal MP Roma Britnell) posted jokes on his Facebook page about Daniel Andrews' spinal injury

Richard Riordan (pictured right with fellow Liberal MP Roma Britnell) posted jokes on his Facebook page about Daniel Andrews’ spinal injury

But Mr Riordan’s light-hearted joke also got some backing.

One said ‘Richard Riordan wins the award for the best take down of #DictatorDan.’

Another thought the Liberal MP showed a great sense of humour, tweeting ‘That is gold from Richard Riordan.’

There were also social media posts that, as Epstein said, ‘stoked the fires of conspiracy’ over the Premier’s injuries. 

Some commenters claimed Mr Andrews had not fallen, but had actually been beaten up, while others said he not been injured at all.  

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (right) is pictured with his wife Catherine. She thought he was going to die from his spinal injury in March 2021

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (right) is pictured with his wife Catherine. She thought he was going to die from his spinal injury in March 2021

Victorian Liberal MP Louise Staley issued a long list of questions about Mr Andrews accident and the events leading up to it

Victorian Liberal MP Louise Staley issued a long list of questions about Mr Andrews accident and the events leading up to it

In June 2021, Victoria’s then-shadow treasurer Louise Staley sparked controversy when she  issued a media release with 12 questions she said Mr Andrews ‘must answer before he comes back to work’ about the inicdent. 

They included: ‘What time was the ambulance called’, ‘Who called the ambulance’, ‘Did the police attend’ and ‘Has Daniel Andrews been interviewed either formally or informally by the police in relation to anything that occurred over that long weekend?’

Ms Staley said ‘If there is no cover-up then there is no reason not to provide answers to these simple questions’ – a stance that saw her criticised at the time.  

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