Ellen Greene, the former head of the Australian government’s department of immigration, has resigned over alleged breaches of parliamentary rules
A former Labor frontbencher who is embroiled in a political scandal has resigned from the government’s immigration portfolio over allegations of breach of parliamentary privilege, a spokesman for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said.
The departure of Ellen Greer, who is now the head of Labor’s Immigration Department, was confirmed by the spokesperson.
The move comes amid claims that Mr Rudd’s office has been aware for some time that Mr Greer had been charged by the NSW Police with child pornography offences.
He resigned his position in the House of Representatives on Thursday, saying he had decided to quit after the allegations of his alleged conduct emerged in the media.
“I’m leaving parliament for a variety of reasons, and I am sorry to my colleagues in Labor, the Liberal Party and the community,” Mr Greest said.
“The allegations are serious, and the evidence is overwhelming that I have broken the rules of parliament.”
As a former member of parliament, I take this opportunity to publicly apologise for the breach of my parliamentary privilege and to make clear my decision to resign.
“In light of the allegations made against me, I have decided to step aside as the head, executive director and chief of staff of the Immigration Department.”
If there is any further breach of the law, I will seek legal advice.
“Mr Greer is accused of sending images of child sex abuse images to his wife, a senior government adviser and a senior staffer.
He denies the allegations, which were first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, but has pleaded not guilty.
His legal team says they are seeking a judicial review.
Labor’s Opposition says it is “shocked and outraged” at the allegations.”
Ellen Greers alleged abuse of power and corruption at the hands of a Prime Minister who is clearly unfit to hold office,” Opposition Leader Luke Foley said in a statement.”
He’s a political careerist who should never be allowed to hold the office of Prime Minister.
“We will continue to fight for justice for Ellen.”
Mr Rudd said on Thursday he was aware of the matter, but did not want to comment further until the court process had been completed.
The ABC has spoken to several people who worked closely with Mr Greers, including the former minister who is alleged to have sent the images.
The Federal Government has said it will investigate the allegations and the allegations will be referred to the police.
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