Garry Edwards has stood aside from the NSW Liberal Party after being named in a corruption hearing.
Member for Swansea Garry Edwards has stood aside from the NSW Liberal Party after being named at a corruption hearing.
He becomes the ninth NSW Liberal MP to be sidelined amid the ongoing revelations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
“I look forward to an early opportunity to clear my name,” Mr Edwards said in a statement.
“In the meantime, I have decided to stand aside from the Parliamentary Liberal Party.
“I have informed the Premier of my decision and he has accepted it.”
Newcastle property baron Jeff McCloy earlier on Thursday told the ICAC that he gave about $1500 to Mr Edwards.
Mr Edwards is the third Liberal MP from the Hunter Region to be sidelined this week following revelations at the ICAC.
Former Newcastle MP Tim Owen quit parliament on Tuesday after confessing he lied to the watchdog and ex-Charlestown member Andrew Cornwell resigned after admitting to receiving $20,000 from banned developers.
Both seats have traditionally been held by the Labor Party and are expected to fall back to the ALP in upcoming by-elections.
Minutes after Mr Edwards’ announcement, Premier Mike Baird told parliament the MP deserved due process at the commission.
“He will have the chance to respond at ICAC,” he told the chamber.
“I won’t be making any further commentary on it.”
Faced with a series of questions over the damaging ICAC revelations during question time, Mr Baird warned the opposition against thinking it could “roll over here and take government”.
“You can come in here and pretend you’re on the road to Damascus,” Mr Baird said, pointing to Opposition Leader John Robertson.
“The great white knight who all of the sudden forgot that he spent his whole parliamentary career going back and forth to (former corrupt Labor minister) Eddie Obeid’s office.”
Mr Baird earlier told reporters it would be “very tough” for the Liberal Party to retain Charlestown and Newcastle.