Ley resigns over scandal
Cabinet minister makes ‘right judgment’ to quit
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.