NSW MP Daryl Maguire apologised on Facebook. (Supplied: Facebook)
Daryl Maguire faces mounting calls to quit Parliament after ICAC revelations
MP quits NSW Liberals after phone taps played to corruption inquiry
Wagga Wagga 2650
NSW MP Daryl Maguire has refused to quit Parliament despite mounting pressure following explosive revelations to the corruption commission that he attempted to receive money for helping to arrange a property deal.
Mr Maguire took to Facebook on Monday, posting a video in which he apologised for “breaching the very strict code of conduct” required of him.
Several hours later, his Facebook page had been deleted.
Mr Maguire said he would not immediately step down from Parliament.
“I’m not going to resign,” he said.
NSW MP Daryl Maguire has taken to Facebook to apologise following his evidence at ICAC, but has refused to quit Parliament. (Melinda Hayter)
“I’ve removed myself from the Liberal Party, I’ve resigned from the party only, but I won’t resign as a member of parliament.
“I do apologise, I did breach a very strict code of conduct and I have to suffer the consequences, but I won’t put the taxpayer to the cost of having a byelection,” he said.
“I think they’re unreasonable and I think it’s a cost that the taxpayer doesn’t need.
Mr Maguire said he would not be recontesting the seat of Wagga Wagga at the next election, a decision that recent events had “brought forward”.
“These events have brought forward a decision that I’d already made not to contest the 2019 election so it brings forward that announcement and in the meantime up until the election date I will continue to work for the people of Wagga Wagga as I’ve always done.
“Wagga Wagga has always come first — always will.”
Growing pressure to quit
Mr Maguire has faced mounting pressure quit parliament after the Independent Commission Against Corruption revealed a secret phone tap in which he discussed the potential cut he would receive for facilitating the sale of a Sydney property to Chinese investors.
He resigned from his position as parliamentary secretary and stood aside from the Parliamentary Liberal Party on Friday, moving to the crossbench.
On Sunday, two days after the ICAC heard the damaging phone call, Premier Gladys Berejiklian released a statement urging Mr Maguire to reconsider his position in Parliament.
“I was shocked by the events of Friday and I spoke to Mr Maguire late that afternoon to express in the strongest possible terms my deep disappointment,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I would encourage him to think carefully as to whether he can effectively represent the people of Wagga Wagga from here on in.”
Labor demands audit of meetings
Acting Opposition Leader Michael Daley labelled the Premier’s response “weak” and said Mr Maguire should leave Parliament entirely.
“What weak leadership from the Premier,” Mr Daley told reporters in Sydney on Monday morning.
“I’ve been speaking to people in Wagga over the weekend and this morning and I can tell you that Daryl Maguire is the talk of the town — they are disgusted, and he must go,” he said.
Labor is demanding the Premier conduct a full audit of meetings between Mr Maguire and her Cabinet ministers.
“We want Gladys Berejiklian to shine the light on all of Daryl Maguire’s dealings over many years,” Mr Daley said.
“This is pretty murky stuff.”
Mr Daley said evidence given to the ICAC indicated Mr Maguire attempted to organise meetings with government ministers on behalf of his “mega client”.
“Whatever Daryl Maguire’s future might be, it’s the past that we now have to look at,” Mr Daley said.