but the Malady Lingers On
Months ago pundits were speculating that in order to distance the Labor Party from scandal plagued MP Craig Thompson, they might get him to resign from the party and support the government from the cross benches. The effect would be merely cosmetic, but at least he wouldn’t be officially a member of the party.
Now the prediction has proved true, or at least, “his party membership has been “suspended” at his own request.” This may mean that his membership can be reinstated if the heat were to come off, or is being used as a technicality to cover moneys paid to keep him solvent:
But Fairfax Media has obtained documents showing that in September 2010, the HSU agreed to pay him $129,555 in entitlements plus $30,000 to settle a defamation claim he had brought against the union and his successor as national secretary, Kathy Jackson. At the time of the payout, Mr Thomson was suing Fairfax Media over the allegations and had been recently re-elected as a federal MP.Meanwhile the Speaker, Peter Slipper who is fighting allegations of rorting travel dockets and sexual harassment of a male staffer is to remain stood down after independent MPs indicated they would not continue to support the government if he were allowed to take the chair while allegations against him were unresolved. He will therefore, continue to contribute to the stench surrounding the PM.
Subsequently, the NSW branch of the Labor Party paid $150,000 in Mr Thomson's legal bills to prevent him becoming a bankrupt, which would have excluded him from office and caused the collapse of the minority government.