Coast MP could pair with Speaker

MP Alex Somlyay
MP Alex Somlyay

SUNSHINE Coast MP Alex Somlyay may go against Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and pair his vote with the Speaker.

Mr Somlyay has said he was approached by Labor about taking up the deputy speaker position and was considering the offer.

The government confirmed Harry Jenkins will be its nomination for Speaker in the new parliament which will sit for the first time on Tuesday.

A deal between Labor and Mr Somlyay would ensure Labor’s two-seat majority and end a deadlock over voting arrangements for the Speaker.

The development comes after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reneged on an agreement reached on September 6 on pairing arrangements for the Speaker on the grounds they were constitutionally unsound.

Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey dismissed the reports Mr Somlyay, who was dumped as the opposition’s whip in the recent reshuffle, may agree to be deputy speaker.

Mr Somlyay has been the Member for Fairfax for 20 years, and if proven correct, this decision would remove him from the opposition partyroom.

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