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‘Why don’t we get James on the line’: John Pesutto hits back at rorting accusations

Macquarie National News

One of the Coalition MPs referred to Victoria Police by the government over alleged rorting says he has no knowledge of improper use of electorate staff.

Deputy leader James Merlino has referred the names of 18 Liberal and National MPs to police for investigation, accusing them of using electorate staff for political campaigning during business hours.

Shadow Attorney General John Pesutto told Neil Mitchell the fact that Mr Merlino refused to be interviewed showed that the case was flimsy.

“I don’t know what James Merlino is alleging specifically,” Mr Pesutto said.

“Why don’t we get James on the line? I’d talk to him.

“I know he’s listening.

“But he hasn’t come forward with the evidence, and what tells me and what I trust it will tell everybody listening is: Don’t believe these people in the Labor party.”

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Under interrogation himself, Mr Pesutto denied knowledge of any wrongdoing.

“I’ve got no evidence to that effect. No one’s ever said anything to me and, as far as I know, any of my colleagues that this has happened,” he said.

“My staff have only ever worked for me in relation to my parliamentary, shadow ministerial and electorate duties.”

Mr Merlino was quizzed about evidence at a press conference this morning.

“There is significant evidence that we have provided to Victoria Police,” he said.

Macquarie National News