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Bishop quits over tax-payer travel scandal

Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop speaks to the media at a news conference in Sydney, Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop speaks to the media at a news conference in Sydney, Saturday, July 18, 2015. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

BRONWYN Bishop is no longer Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The senior MP quit the prized role after her tax-payer funded travel entitlements caused outrage across the nation.

"I have today written to the Governor-General and tendered my resignation as Speaker of the House of Representatives effective immediately," Mrs Bishop said in a statement.

"I have not taken this decision lightly, however it is because of my love and respect for the institution of Parliament and the Australian people that I have resigned as Speaker."

The move follows fresh claims that Ms Bishop spent  $6000 chartering a plane for a 160km trip from Sydney to Nowra last year.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he accepted Ms Bishop's move.

He also said there was a problem with how the MP entitlements system operated and former finance secretary David Tune would review the scheme.

"We have a situation where spending is arguably inside the rules but plainly outside community expectations," the PM said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten earlier in the day urged Mr Abbott to act on the expenses saga which started about three weeks ago when it was revealed she hired a helicopter to fly from Melbourne to Geelong.

"The scandal surrounding Bronwyn Bishop has to end, it should not go one day longer," Mr Shorten said.

"We've learned in the morning's media that the Speaker cannot travel overseas and international plans are now paralysed because of this scandal.

"But the truth is that the actions of Bronwyn Bishop and the inaction of Mr Abbott are now paralysing our government and our parliament."

Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke said Ms Bishop needed to address the new "disturbing" allegations.

"These allegations take this entire saga to a new level, to an absolutely new level," Mr Burke said.

"What we're talking about now is not simply whether or not the rules have been broken, but whether or not there's been an extra layer of completely inappropriate conduct."

Ms Bishop's office said the minister would not be commenting on the latest claims.

"These matters are now being reviewed by the Department of Finance and it would be inappropriate to continue commentary now this process is underway," her office said in a statement.

Last month it was revealed Ms Bishop spent more than $5000 on the helicopter trip from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraising event.

Mss Bishop last week apologised for her actions after repaying the money. - APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  bronwyn bishop editors picks



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