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Foul-mouthed Labor powerbroker RESIGNS | Daily Mail Online

Labor powerbroker RESIGNS after secret tapes exposed him claiming to have more power than ‘Chairman’ Dan Andrews amid ‘branch stacking’ allegations

  • Victorian Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek accused of branch stacking 
  • Branch stacking involves signing up members to influence elections 
  • Mr Somyurek denied accusations but resigned over inappropriate comments
  • He made comments about a female colleague and young gay staffers 

Adem Somyurek has resigned

Victorian Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek has resigned as a minister following explosive branch stacking allegations. 

In a statement this morning, Mr Somyurek rejected allegations that he created fake party members to influence elections.

‘I reject those and will be providing a rigorous defence during any party process,’ he said.

However, he admitted making inappropriate comments about a female colleague and young gay staffers and said that is why he has resigned as a minister. 

An investigation by The Age and 60 Minutes claimed to reveal the upper house MP handed over thousands of dollars in cash and used parliamentary employees to create fake branch members and amass political influence within the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Somyurek said he will ask the police to investigate if he was recorded illegally.

Footage shows Mr Somyurek on April 13 withdrawing $2,000 in cash from an ATM, before handing it and dozens of party membership forms, to an adviser working for fellow Labor minister Marlene Kairouz, who then delivers the forms and cash to ALP head office.

The advisor reportedly carried out a similar cash drop-off earlier in the year.

‘Well, if he (the advisor) gets caught on the street, he’d better not say he’s doing f***ing this stuff,’ Mr Somyurek is recorded saying after the April 13 drop.

Adem Somyurek (centre) pictured at a meeting in May, 2019. Mr Somyurek is alleged to have told people to forge signatures on Labor Party membership forms

Adem Somyurek (centre) pictured at a meeting in May, 2019. Mr Somyurek is alleged to have told people to forge signatures on Labor Party membership forms

Mr Somyurek is also recorded ordering people to forge signatures and create false statements, in which Labor branch members claim to have paid for their own memberships.

He also talks about directing taxpayer-funded parliamentary employees, meant to be working for other MPs, to conduct party political operations.

Branch stacking involves recruiting or signing up members for a local branch of a political party for the purpose of influencing the outcome of internal preselections of candidates for federal and state parliament.

In one recording, Mr Somyurek boasts of controlling two-thirds of the Labor party in Victoria.

‘I’ll be just running the joint,’ Mr Somyurek says.

‘It’s who I say is going to be the f***ing premier.’

It is against Labor rules to pay for other people’s memberships.

Party members are required to sign a form declaring they have paid for their own memberships.

Jaclyn Symes, Gabrielle Williams, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Melissa Horne and Adem Somyurek in 2018

Jaclyn Symes, Gabrielle Williams, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Melissa Horne and Adem Somyurek in 2018

Adem Somyurek pictured in May, 2019. He is said to have controlled two thirds of Victoria's Labor Party through branch stacking

Adem Somyurek pictured in May, 2019. He is said to have controlled two thirds of Victoria’s Labor Party through branch stacking

In the recordings, Mr Somyurek also takes aim at his colleagues, including Ms Kairouz, who he describes as holding a ‘meaningless’ portfolio ‘made up just to make it look like we’re interested in the suburbs’.

He labels the Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams a ‘stupid b****’ whom he will ‘f***ing force … out of the ministry’.

Somyurek also describes these young staffers helping him as ‘patronising and annoying’, and ‘real little f***ing slimy little f***ers, little passive-aggressive f***ing gay kids’.’

The Victorian state government has been contacted for comment. 

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said: ‘I have zero tolerance for any corrupt or inappropriate behaviour, any behaviour that brings the party into disrepute.’ 

Adem Somyurek’s statement in full 

This morning I advised the Premier of my resignation as a Minister.

It follows publication of numerous personal and private conversations between myself and a long term friend and factional ally of mine.

It is clear that I was taped and surveilled in a Federal electorate office without my knowledge and that this material was published without my knowledge of its existence or my consent.

I will be taking steps to seek a police investigation into these matters.

With respect to allegations made around memberships of the party, I reject those and will be providing a rigorous defence during any party process.

The conversations published without my knowledge or consent were with someone who I trusted about internal party matters.

There are many robust discussions that occur on any given day in the Labor Party across all factions.

However I accept and take full responsibility for the fact that my language on a number of occasions was simply not appropriate.

While Ms Williams and I have been at odds factionally for many years, I should not have used the language I did about her and I apologise to her unequivocally.

Further, I am deeply sorry for language I used regarding highly valued and exceptional young people who are members of the LGBTI community.

These comments have quite rightly cost me my job. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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