Kamis, 31 Juli 2014

Ricky Muir, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator, sacks chief of staff amid reports of infighting (ABC)

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator, Ricky Muir, has sacked his chief of staff, Glenn Druery, amid reports of infighting within the party.

Senator Muir said Mr Druery, who was dubbed "the preference whisperer" after negotiating Senate preference deals that helped Senator Muir get elected, was dismissed last night but refused to say why.

Fairfax media reported that Mr Druery clashed with the party's founder, Keith Littler.

The ABC was told that another member of Senator Muir's staff, Susan Bloodworth, has quit.

Division between the federal and local branches came to a head after last year's elections, with the party executive sacking the Victorian council which was accused of acting against the best interests of the Senator.

The Age newspaper reported the Victorian branch met earlier this week and voted to disband, creating uncertainty over whether Senator Muir would have to stand as an independent.

In an interview earlier today, party spokesman Keith Littler said they were never part of the formal party.

He said the local branch ceased to exist 10 months ago when "a bunch of disgruntled people" waged "a campaign of disrespect against the party".

"They have no authority, no jurisdiction. They're not a formal part of the party. They're not recognised in any way," he said.

"As for the claim that they've expelled Ricky Muir as a member, well he's not a member of a branch that doesn't exist.

"He's a member of the party. The party supports him 100 per cent and he's doing an absolutely fantastic job."

Peter Kazantzis, who represented the Victorian council of the party, said they simply wanted to hear from either Mr Littler or Senator Muir.

"The point of this was that the Victorian members of the party, for close to a year now, have been calling for Keith and, in particular, for Ricky to address the people [so they could] understand a little bit better about what he stands for," he told 774 ABC Melbourne.

"We wanted to hear from him and to really get to know the person who is now representing us.

"Those calls have fallen on deaf ears and as a result the members have said enough is enough."


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