Suspended Liberal MP Andrew Cornwell will not recontest his seat at next year’s NSW election following damning revelations at the corruption watchdog.
A once-rising NSW Liberal star has spectacularly announced his resignation from politics after revelations he received $20,000 from developers.
Andrew Cornwell, who represents Charlestown in the state’s Lake Macquarie region, said on Friday he was quitting parliament at the March election a day after giving evidence at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
“I have decided that I will not contest the next state election,” he said in a statement.
“Today I tendered my resignation from the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division).”
Dr Cornwell has also sought parliamentary leave, saying the ICAC matters had “significantly impacted” his family.
“While I take full responsibility for my own actions, I need to care for my family during this time,” he said.
The MP has endured a career-crushing week at the corruption watchdog.
He has admitted to receiving $10,000 in a brown paper bag in a Bentley from property developer and now Newcastle Mayor Jeff McCloy in the lead-up to the 2011 election.
Dr Cornwell then handed the money to a Liberal Party branch member who allegedly funnelled it back to the NSW Liberal Party. This is despite political donations from developers being banned in NSW since 2009.
He also confessed to using $10,000 from the sham sale of a Rex Newell painting to a property developer to pay his payroll tax bill.
The average price for Mr Newell’s work is $288 and the biggest sale he has made is $1500.
Dr Cornwell, who is a vet, was once seen as a promising Liberal MP with a bright political future.
He entered parliament in 2011 and was promoted by Premier Mike Baird to government whip in his May reshuffle.
He now joins a growing list of NSW Liberals who will bow out of politics at the next election thanks to damaging revelations at the ICAC.
This year, the commission has claimed the scalps of Newcastle MP Tim Owen, who is a former top-ranking RAAF officer, and Central Coast MPs Darren Webber and Chris Spence, who are all quitting at the March poll.
The commission has also claimed the premiership of Barry O’Farrell, forced Mike Gallacher to relinquish his police ministry and relegated two more MPs to the cross bench.
In March, Liberal powerbroker Arthur Sinodinos stepped down as federal assistant treasurer over his dealings with controversial company, Australian Water Holdings.