Labor ‘throwing mud’, says Liberal MP Dixon

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NEPEAN MP Martin Dixon has scoffed at claims by deputy premier James Merlino that he was among 18 state Liberal Party MPs to break parliamentary rules by using electorate staff for political campaigning during business hours.

Mr Merlino’s allegations come after Victoria Police last week raided the offices of state Labor MPs in the so-called “Red Shirts Affair” in relation to the actions of their staff before the 2014 state election.

Fallout from the affair rocked the state Labor government and sent ministers into hiding last week.

Mr Merlino said he had provided evidence to police that he alleges proves Liberal electorate staffers also did political campaigning for their MPs.

He said this allowed the Liberal Party to “access taxpayer funded expenditure in the order of $2 million” for its election campaign.

Mr Dixon said the minister was “throwing mud”.

“This is a desperate stunt by a desperate premier (Daniel Andrews) with six ministers under police investigation,” Mr Dixon said.

“With the fraud and extortion squad conducting dawn raids on 17 Labor people, the Andrews government are now throwing mud everywhere.”

Mr Dixon will not contest this year’s November state election.

His electorate office manager, Russell Joseph, has been preselected as the Liberals’ Nepean candidate.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 7 August 2018

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