Ley re­signs over scan­dal

Cab­i­net min­is­ter makes ‘right judg­ment’ to quit

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS NATION -

EM­BAT­TLED Turn­bull gov­ern­ment cab­i­net min­is­ter Sus­san Ley has re­signed from the front­bench af­ter rev­e­la­tions she used tax­payer-funded trips to buy prop­erty and at­tend New Year’s Eve func­tions.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull an­nounced Ms Ley’s res­ig­na­tion af­ter re­ceiv­ing the find­ings of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her travel claims from the sec­re­tary of his de­part­ment.

He re­fused to re­veal the find­ings, telling re­porters in Syd­ney her de­ci­sion to re­sign was the “right judg­ment”.

“She has made a judg­ment that is, I be­lieve, in the in­ter­ests of the gov­ern­ment and she has made an ap­pro­pri­ate judg­ment, and I do want to say that I thank her for her ser­vice over many years,” Mr Turn­bull said.

Ms Ley stood aside amid mount­ing rev­e­la­tions about her use of tax­payer-funded travel.

In a state­ment, she in­sisted she was con­fi­dent she had fol­lowed the rules.

“Not just re­gard­ing en­ti­tle­ments but most

im­por­tantly the min­is­te­rial code of con­duct,” she said.

Ms Ley said she was con­tin­u­ing to co-op­er­ate with a Fi­nance De­part­ment re­view into her travel claims and would not ob­ject to the ma­te­rial she’s pro­vided be­ing made pub­lic.

It had been an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult week not only for her but also the gov­ern­ment, she said.

“The on­go­ing me­dia cov­er­age of politi­cian’s en­ti­tle­ments has been a di­ver­sion from the im­por­tant agenda we all wish to ad­vance at the start of this vi­tal year for our na­tion and our re­gion,” she said.

“Whilst I have at­tempted at all times to be metic­u­lous with rules and stan­dards, I ac­cept com­mu­nity annoyance, even anger, with politi­cians’ en­ti­tle­ments de­mands a re­sponse.

“The team is al­ways more im­por­tant than the in­di­vid­ual and I look for­ward to serv­ing both the Lib­eral Party and the gov­ern­ment well into the fu­ture.”

Ms Ley was elected to par­lia­ment in 2001 and ap­pointed health min­is­ter in 2014.

Mr Turn­bull said Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Arthur Sin­odi­nos would con­tinue to act as health min­is­ter un­til fur­ther min­is­te­rial an­nounce­ments next week.

Act­ing La­bor leader Penny Wong slammed Mr Turn­bull for fail­ing to dis­close the find­ings of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Ms Ley.

“Two weeks into 2017 and Mal­colm Turn­bull’s al­ready lost a min­is­ter,” she said in Ade­laide.

“Sus­san Ley’s done what she should have done a week ago.”

GONE: Sus­san Ley.

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