New figure fades after ICAC bites
New South Wales Liberal MP Garry Edwards has been expelled from the party, following allegations of corruption.
Mr Edwards was one of 10 Liberal MPs who had been on the crossbench while the state's corruption watchdog looked into claims of dodgy developer donations.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that in 2010, Newcastle mayor and property developer Jeff McCloy gave Mr Edwards an envelope containing hundreds of dollars.
McCloy stood down from his position at the conclusion of the ICAC trials, wherein text messages and phone records suggested there were dodgy links with Nathan Tinkler’s development firm Buildev and other such groups.
During the trial, Mr Edwards told ICAC he did take the envelope stuffed with money, but claimed not to have opened it.
Now, Mr Edwards has issued a statement saying the Liberal Party had expelled him (via email), after he had missed the chance to voluntarily stand down.
“It was the electorate that put me in the NSW Parliament, not a political party,” Mr Edwards said in his statement.
“For me to stand aside voluntarily at the request of a political party would have been for me to abandon my obligations to the electorate, and that is something that I was not prepared to do.
“It was never my practice to buckle to bullying and intimidation, and it certainly is something that I do not intend to succumb to at this stage of my life.
“My situation has now been used as a political pawn in advancing the cause of factional interests within the party.
“Those interests relate to several months of a factional war over an electorate [in] western Sydney.
“This war has apparently now ended as a result of my expulsion, with each warring party being handed a bone.”
Reports say Mr Edwards is expected to make a decision on whether to contest the upcoming March election following consultation with family, staff, friends, and advisors this week.