Springborg's chief-of-staff in political crossfire

Lawrence Springborg chatting with voters outside Warwick Town Hall
Lawrence Springborg chatting with voters outside Warwick Town Hall Jeremy Sollars

THE Queensland Parliament has found its first scandal of the year, with Labor setting up what it hopes will be a prolonged attack on a key political nemesis, Lawrence Springborg's chief-of-staff, Jake Smith.

The government used Mr Smith's inclusion in an Ethics Committee report which found LNP MP Ann Leahy guilty of contempt and misleading parliament, to execute a co-ordinated campaign against the long-time staffer, who has been a political thorn in the side of Labor since the early 2000s.

The Ethics Committee discovered Mr Smith assisted Ms Leahy to draft an email which dealt with confidential Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission business after it summonsed him to attend a private hearing dealing with Ms Leahy's matter in November.

But while Ms Leahy was found to have misled the committee through omission when she neglected to name Mr Smith when asked if she received assistance with the email, as well as contempt of parliament when she disclosed confidential committee matters, Mr Smith was not admonished nor found guilty of any wrong doing. The committee also unanimously  recommended parliamentary rules be changed to allow third parties like Mr Smith to assist committee members, when necessary.

That didn't stop Labor, which finally believed itself to have an opening to "exorcise the body politic here in Queensland" of a "shadowy figure".


Topics:  ann leahy lawrence springborg

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