NSW Labor boss Kaila Murnain was suspended after explosively telling an anti-corruption investigation that she knew that a Chinese billionaire had made a potentially illegal donation to the party.
Ms. Murnain, 32, the first woman to be Labor General Secretary in NSW and considered by some to be a future prime minister, dropped the bomb when she went to the Independent Commission Against Corruption witness stand on Wednesday.
She told the investigation that MP Ernest Wong told MP in September 2016 that Huang Xiangmo, a banned donor, had donated to the state of ALP.
NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay said on Wednesday evening that she was shocked by the evidence provided to the investigation this week and is stepping in to clean up & # 39; the mess & # 39 ;.
Ms. McKay has asked party officials to suspend Ms. Murnain as general secretary.
& # 39; I no longer trust her judgment. I will have more to say about the governance within the party at the end of the investigation, & Mrs. McKay said in a statement.
A senior Labor source told Daily Mail Australia that the revelations that Murnain knew of the donation and are silent a & # 39; bomb & # 39; goods.
Kaila Murnain leaves the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) public investigation into allegations regarding political donations in Sydney on Wednesday
& # 39; It is absolutely devastating for the Secretary-General to do such a thing, & # 39; they said.
The source said that there was & # 39; some speculation & # 39; was about Mrs. Murnain and suggested that her time was already ending because of a whole series of problems.
Despite the criticism, the source understood why she was once a future prime minister.
& # 39; She had a lot of praise in the party … had a federal ambition, saw the state party as too small for her, & # 39; they said.
& # 39; Her future looked promising, she did some good things. & # 39;
The source added that Ms. McKay was forced to & # 39; save & # 39 ;.
Ms. Murnain (left), 32, the first woman to be General Secretary of Labor in NSW and considered by some to be a future prime minister, the independent anti-corruption commission told Wednesday that MP Ernest Wong First House told her in September 2016 Huang Xiangmo (right) – a forbidden donor – had donated to the state of ALP
& # 39; What Jodi did, she had to do. She strongly supported Kaila, & they said.
& # 39; Did Kaila know this and did she keep this to herself? & # 39; he asked.
& # 39; A little speculation about how far it went in this office. Has it just stopped and started with Kaila or were other people aware of this? & # 39;
Meanwhile, Mrs. Murnain said that Mr. Wong & # 39; worried and agitated & # 39; was when he told her that a person who said they had donated money to the state party had not actually done so – and the money came from Mr. Huang instead.
The general secretary of the party urged several times to bring the person forward, the investigation heard.
NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay said on Wednesday evening that she was shocked by the evidence provided to the investigation this week and is stepping in to clean up & # 39; the mess & # 39 ;. Ms. McKay has asked party officials to suspend Ms. Murnain as general secretary
Ms. Murnain said she could not remember the donation amount, but linked it to the money raised during a Chinese Friends of Labor dinner in 2015, which is central to the ICAC study.
In the investigation earlier this week, Mr. Huang reportedly heard $ 100,000 in a plastic Aldi shopping bag handing over to NSW Labor, then General Secretary, Jamie Clements, a few weeks after the CFL dinner in March 2015.
& # 39; At one point I responded back (to Mr. Wong) & # 39; What is that? & # 39 ;, & # 39; Mrs. Murnain told Wednesday's hearing.
& # 39; I remember stepping back and realizing what all this meant. That an important donor had made a donation to our campaign account that was a banned donor. & # 39;
After she asked the then Labor senator Sam Dastyari for advice, Mrs. Murnain went to the party's lawyer, Ian Robertson.
Mrs. Murnain said she told him: & # 39; There has been a huge crash. & # 39;
She told the investigation that she was advised to & # 39; forget the conversation & # 39; after she informed the lawyer that she believed Mr. Wong.
& # 39; At the end of the conversation, Ian told me, & # 39; & # 39; There is no need to do anything from here, don't record this meeting, don't put it in your journal, forget the conversation happened with Ernest and I won & # 39; this won't charge you either & # 39; & # 39 ;, she said.
& # 39; And (he said) & # 39; Don't tell anyone about it & # 39 ;. So I literally didn't tell anyone about it. & # 39;
NSW Labor boss Kaila Murnain is suspended after he explosively told an anti-corruption investigation that the party's lawyer advised her not to tell anyone that a Chinese billionaire had made a potentially illegal donation to the ALP
The Labor source noted that Mrs. Murnain was appointed by Mr. Dastyari, who was dumped by Bill Shorten about his ties with Chinese donors.
& # 39; There was a culture of recklessness among Sam … They were brutal, & # 39; said the source.
& # 39; That was a big part of the reason Sam was relocated from headquarters. Kaila didn't seem to learn anything from that. & # 39;
The source said that one of the contenders to replace Mrs. Murnain is a student of Dastyari and suggested that the party might not learn from our mistakes.
ICAC investigates whether Mr. Huang – who is now banned from Australia – was the real source of the $ 100,000.
As a project developer, Mr. Huang was prohibited by law from making donations to political parties of NSW.
Worker worker Kenrick Cheah told the NSW election committee in 2017 that a few weeks after the CFL dinner, Huang went to the party's office in Sydney and gave Mr. Clements the money-filled bag that was later passed on to Mr. Cheah.
But when Mr. Clements' lawyer was questioned during Tuesday's investigation, Mr. Cheah admitted that he had not actually seen Mr. Huang carry the bag of money.
Mrs. Murnain must continue to testify on Thursday.
Mr. Dastyari – whose relationship with Mr. Huang has partly led to his political demise – is also expected to tackle the investigation.
Mrs. Murnain and husband Tom Hollywood under the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Who is Kaila Murnain – and why is she considered a potential future prime minister?
Mrs. Murnain grew up in regional areas that normally vote conservatively and has been a party activist since she was a teenager.
She grew up in the country and spent part of her childhood in the city of Narrabri, a cotton city in the northwest of the NSW.
Just like two former Labor Prime Ministers – Mr Whitlam and Paul Keating – Mrs. Murnain comes from the powerful Right faction of Labor and is based in Sydney.
She is also a political insider, which considerably increases her chances of winning preselection for a winable place.
While party bosses and political insiders are not necessarily known names with voters, they have continued to win elections, as Scott Morrison showed in May.
The federal leader of labor, Anthony Albanese, was himself the assistant secretary general of the party in NSW of the minority left before he was elected as a member of Grayndler in the inland of Sydney in 1996.
Mrs. Murnain chaired the NSW Labor election loss in March, while only one of her party's federal candidates in NSW won a Liberal Party seat in this year's federal elections.
When asked about her prospect of becoming a future Labor Prime Minister, Ms. Murnain supported Mr Albanian.
"Albo will be a strong and unifying force as party leader, and we are all excited and ready to compete with the liberals and subjects under his leadership," she told Daily Mail Australia earlier.
Mrs. Murnain & # 39; s bomb admission and subsequent suspension comes just months after Labor was considered a future leader by Labor figures.
In May, veteran Labor strategist Bruce Hawker said that Mrs. Murnain & # 39; s role as Labor's first female general secretary in NSW since 2016 spoke volumes about her ability.
& # 39; She is a very strong person and that is important as a leader, & # 39; he told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; She gives a tight show, which is also important and very practical – she does not sit back and allows everyone else to think for her, she is sitting there with her sleeves on the agenda. They are all very positive things. & # 39;
Pat Garcia takes over Ms. Murnain's position as general secretary.
Mrs. Murnain & # 39; s bomb admission and subsequent suspension comes just months after Labor was considered a future leader by Labor figures. In May, veteran Labor strategist Bruce Hawker said that Mrs. Murnain & # 39; s role as Labor & # 39; s first female general secretary in NSW since 2016 spoke volumes about her assets
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