Anthony Albanese says Adem Somyurek branch-stacking scandal undermines faith in politics

Adem Somyurek has been sacked from Victorian state cabinet, accused of handing over thousands of dollars in cash to create fake branch members to gain influence.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Source: AAP

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the Adem Somyurek branch-stacking scandal undermines public faith in politicians and the party is better without the now-former Victorian minister.

Adem Somyurek has been sacked from Victorian state cabinet after the explosive allegations, which he denies.

He's accused of handing over thousands of dollars in cash and using parliamentary employees to create fake branch members to gain influence within the Victorian branch of the Labor party.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wants Mr Somyurek booted from the Australian Labor Party and has also referred him to Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog and police.

Adem Somyurek speaks to reporters on the steps of the State Parliament of Victoria
Source: AAP

Mr Albanese on Monday night said Mr Somyurek was someone he had barely met. He also said the Labor party had zero tolerance for branch stacking.

"Events like this do undermine faith in politics, which is why it's important it be dealt with," he told the ABC.

"He was not seeking political power to change society. He was seeking political power for it's own sake. That's why the Labor party is a better party without his involvement."

Nine's 60 Minutes and The Age report alleges Mr Somyurek boasted of having influence over federal Labor MPs from Victoria.

Daniel Andrews speaks about the allegations against Mr Somyurek.
Source: AAP

But Mr Albanese said Mr Somyurek, who was also a member of the ALP national executive, has no influence on any members of the federal Labor caucus.

Branch stacking involves recruiting or signing up members for a local branch of a political party to influence the outcome of candidate preselections for parliament.

It is against Labor rules to pay for other people's memberships.


Party members are required to sign a form declaring they have paid for their own memberships.

Footage shows Mr Somyurek withdrawing $2000 in cash from an ATM on April 13, before handing it and dozens of party membership forms to an adviser working for fellow Labor minister Marlene Kairouz.

The adviser then delivers the forms and cash to ALP head office.

A similar cash drop-off reportedly occurred earlier in the year.

Labor's national executive said Mr Somyurek's behaviour was reprehensible.


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Published 15 June 2020 at 8:02pm