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Australian Senator Leaves Liberal Party amid Misconduct Claims

Senator Van, on the other hand, refuted the claims against him and stated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation

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AUSTRALIA: Australian Senator David Van from Victoria has decided to take a leave of absence from the federal legislature following his resignation from the Liberal Party amidst allegations of inappropriate behavior towards female colleagues. 

Senator Van decided to step down before a committee hearing on allegations of sexual misconduct involving former Liberal senator Amanda Stoker and independent senator Lidia Thorpe. He expressed his inability to remain a member of a party that disregards the principles of due process and natural justice.

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Senator Van’s resignation from the Liberal Party stems from his concerns regarding the party’s handling of the allegations against him. Upon lawmakers’ return to Canberra, he intends to request a leave of absence from the Senate.

The Nationals leader, David Littleproud, has criticized Senator Van’s choice to sit on the opposition benches in the Senate, arguing that Van was not elected of his own accord and should therefore resign from the Senate. Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie characterized Van’s actions as decisive.

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Senator McKenzie commended Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for expelling Senator Van from the party room and calling for his resignation due to the allegations. She praised Dutton’s resolute actions, acknowledging that political parties have faced internal challenges in recent times. 

Senator Van, on the other hand, refuted the claims against him and stated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation.

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In addition to the existing allegations, Senator Van has faced a new accusation. He expressed distress and hurt at the lack of procedural fairness granted to him. Senator McKenzie supported Senator Thorpe’s utilization of parliamentary privilege to discuss the allegations, while Nationals leader David Littleproud expressed skepticism.

While some question Senator Van’s presumption of innocence, Peter Dutton has the right to defend the Liberal Party and initiate an investigation. Failure to conform to Liberal Party norms may lead to Van’s expulsion from the party room, with the Liberal Party potentially accepting his resignation.

Linda Burney, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, criticized the public’s misperception of the recent parliamentary incident, emphasizing the importance of Parliament House being a safe workplace in Australia.

Senator Van announced his resignation one day before the scheduled meeting of the administrative committee of the Victorian Liberal Party, which aimed to further address the accusations. In July 2019, he took the oath of office to serve as Victoria’s federal Liberal Party senator.

Also Read: Liberal’s Voice Stance Causes Julian Leeser to Resign from Shadow Cabinet


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