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Neil Mitchell says inquiry into red shirts scheme will leave questions unanswered

Former Treasurer John Lenders has faced parliament’s powerful privileges committee over the so-called red shirts scandal.

Ombudsman Deborah Glass addressed the upper house inquiry yesterday, reaffirming her finding that Mr Lenders played a pivotal role in design of the scheme.

The Ombudsman told the hearing Premier Daniel Andrews declined an invitation to speak to her, instead suggesting Mr Lenders could represent the party.

3AW Mornings senior producer Heidi Murphy crossed to Neil Mitchell as the hearings got underway for a second day, reporting Mr Lenders refuted several of the findings from the Ombudsman’s report.

He told the inquiry he “sought to encourage” people to be involved in the scheme, but he wasn’t involved in the day to day administration of it.

Related: First day of hearing into Parliamentary Powerful Privileges committee 

Neil said it was unlikely, in his view, that police would launch a formal investigation.

“The police are still considering a formal investigation, I don’t think that will happen,” Neil said.

“Police need more than a moral argument for wrongdoing, they need a legal argument.”

Neil said it was unlikely the inquiry would reveal much more, including whether Premier Daniel Andrews had any knowledge of it.

I tell you what, if you are sitting out in the real world listening to that, and you are not a fool then you should be annoyed. Because you are being treated like one – Neil Mitchell

Neil questioned whether Mr Lenders had been asked about whether he discovered the scheme with the Premier.

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