Accueil International Vic MP resigns over branch stacking claims

Vic MP resigns over branch stacking claims

A Victorian minister whose staff were allegedly involved in branch stacking has resigned from cabinet while the claims are investigated by police and the state’s corruption watchdog.

Robin Scott resigned from his roles as Assistant Treasurer and Veterans Minister on Monday evening.

It comes after his former colleague Adem Somyurek was sacked from cabinet and resigned from the Labor Party as it was preparing to kick him out, over branch-stacking allegations and « deplorable » comments.

An investigation by The Age and 60 Minutes alleges the upper house MP handed over thousands of dollars in cash and used parliamentary employees to create fake branch members and amass political influence within the party.

It has been alleged staff members of Mr Scott and Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz were involved in Mr Somyurek’s efforts.

« To the extent that these matters relate to my conduct, I look forward to the opportunity to clear my name. I am very confident that the investigative process will do so, » Mr Scott said in a statement on Monday.

« However, I am conscious of the burden that this process will take on myself and my young family. I am also concerned at the distraction my involvement in the process may cause for the government. »

He will continue to serve his Preston electorate.

Premier Daniel Andrews has asked Victoria Police and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission to investigate the allegations.

He said Ms Kairouz and Mr Scott told him that they have done nothing wrong.

« I have sought from them an assurance that they have at all times behaved appropriately. They have provided me with that assurance, » he told reporters on Monday.

He said it would be « unacceptable » for ministerial or electorate staff to be used for party purposes.

Footage obtained by The Age and 60 Minutes shows Mr Somyurek on April 13 withdrawing $2000 in cash from an ATM, before handing it and dozens of party membership forms, to an adviser working for Ms Kairouz, who then delivers the forms and cash to ALP head office.

The advisor reportedly carried out a similar cash drop-off earlier in the year.

« Well, if he (the advisor) gets caught on the street, he’d better not say he’s doing f***ing this stuff, » Mr Somyurek is recorded saying after the April 13 drop.

Mr Scott also allegedly agreed to allow one of his parliamentary electorate officers to work on boosting memberships in key branches.

Originally published as Vic MP resigns over branch stacking claims

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