LNP’s new beginning
All policies up for review as CMC starts bribery probe
THE Queensland opposition’s leader in waiting Campbell Newman has announced a ‘‘ new beginning’’ for the Liberal National Party ( LNP) on the same day a misconduct investigation into the party’s president began.
Mr Newman yesterday announced he’ll wipe his party’s policy slate clean and start again once he’s endorsed as Ashgrove’s candidate on Sunday. ‘‘ What I will be saying to the party room . . . is that all policies that have been previously announced are essentially null and void,’’ Mr Newman told reporters yesterday.
‘‘ And the new team will be making announcements about policy.
‘‘ It’s a new start and a new beginning.’’
He said he was assembling a new team, revealing he has asked Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent to run for parliament.
The Brisbane lord mayor l ast week announced he would quit council if he won preselection and lead the LNP’s election team with Jeff Seeney as the opposition parliamentary leader.
But an element of the origi nal plan to install Mr Newman as leader is under scrutiny by the Crime and Misconduct I nvestigation ( CMC).
The CMC said it had begun a misconduct investigation into claims president Bruce McIver offered Moggill MP Bruce Flegg the position of Queensland’s Agent General in London under a future LNP government if he retired at the next poll.
The seat would have then been vacant for Mr Newman to contest but Dr Flegg chose to stay on.
‘‘ The CMC’s decision to investigate has been made in the public interest on the basis of maintaining public confidence in the state electoral system,’’ the CMC said.
It said the allegation, if proven, would amount to bribery. Dr Flegg has denied the claim.
‘‘ I was not offered any inducements and I am happy to co-operate fully with any CMC investigation,’’ he said.
Mr McIver was expected to release his own statement late yesterday.
Deputy Premier Paul Lucas told reporters the investigation casts a further shadow on the whole ‘‘ sordid saga’’.