News State Victoria News Napthine moves to expel MP

Napthine moves to expel MP

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Independent MP Geoff Shaw has mocked the Victorian parliament with a token apology and should be kicked out, Premier Denis Napthine says.

Dr Napthine says he was forced with “great regret and great disappointment” to expel Mr Shaw after the Frankston MP said an apology he gave to the parliament was a “political farce”.

“The behaviour we saw yesterday by the member for Frankston was mocking of the parliament, and therefore mocking of the people of Victoria,” Dr Napthine told reporters on Wednesday.

• Shaw apologises to parliament

Mr Shaw returned from an 11-day parliamentary suspension over misuse of his entitlements on Tuesday, saying he “humbly and sincerely” apologised.

The premier moved against Mr Shaw following his subsequent comments in a newspaper interview that the process which led to the policy was a “political farce” and that he had been “made to jump through hoops”.

Dr Napthine said the comments constituted a contempt of parliament.

He said this was totally and utterly unacceptable.

“What was purportedly genuine inside the parliament became a farce outside the parliament,” Dr Napthine said.

He said Mr Shaw was emboldened by the fact the parliament took him at his word and Mr Shaw’s behaviour was regrettable and disappointing.

There was a clear pattern of behaviour, when Mr Shaw’s comments about the process being a farce were added to comments made in the lead-up to his apology, Dr Napthine said.

“This is not about hoops to jump through. It’s about respecting the people of Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.

“If you’re fair dinkum, if you’re honest about your apology, you don’t say one thing inside the house and another thing outside the parliament.”

Dr Napthine said Mr Shaw had been given a myriad of chances.

“There should be no more opportunities for the member for Frankston who must now be held to account through a vote in the parliament.”

Dr Napthine said MPs would vote on Thursday on whether Mr Shaw should be held in contempt of parliament and expelled.

Dr Napthine said the expulsion motion was not about politics and he did not know which way the opposition would vote.

“What the Labor members of parliament do in terms of their votes on this matter is up to them,” he said.

He said he had been reluctant to undertake action that might set a precedent, but there could not be a situation where someone who was required to make a genuine apology was “thumbing his nose at the parliament”.

He said it would be up to the speaker if there was a by-election before the November 29 state poll, but the tradition was if there wasn’t enough time for a new MP to take their seat, a by-election was not held.

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