Queensland MP George Christensen slams “putrid smear campaign”

Queensland MP George Christensen has labeled a news report published yesterday in the Herald Sun as “Highly defamatory”, describing it as part of a “putrid smear campaign” orchestrated by “gutless” political opponents.

The newspaper reported that the Australian Federal Police has inquired about an unnamed member of parliament’s frequent travel to parts of South-East Asia, and that they had allegedly been sending large amounts of money to different bank accounts in the region.

The concern was that the politician was visiting what the newspaper described as “seedy” and “dangerous” neighbourhoods and could potentially be exposed to blackmail attempts. The newspaper did not name Christensen as the politician involved but comments on social media quickly suggested he was the focus of an investigation.

Late last night Christensen identified himself as the subject of the inquiry and provided the media with legal advice that he had not been the subject of any official investigation.

Christensen said the story was part of a “vile smear campaign” orchestrated by his political enemies to bring down the Morrison government.

The government shifted into being a minority government when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull resigned from parliament and his seat of Wentworth was won by independent Dr Kerryn Phelps. The government lost a second seat when Liberal MP Julia Banks resigned from the party and moved to the crossbench.

“I have confirmation in writing from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) that someone made an allegation to the AFP about me, even though they “had no direct knowledge of the conduct” they were alleging. That’s called vexatious in my books.” Christensen said in a social media post.

“The AFP have further stated they “found there was no evidence, or other information to support the allegation, or establish criminal conduct” and, as such, they did not launch any investigation nor did they, at any stage, interview me about any matter, criminal or otherwise. I also have confirmation of that in writing.

“This whole matter is vile and defamatory, and impacts not only me, but my fiancée and my loyal staff who have been abused and threatened because of this putrid smear campaign.” Christensen said.

The MP said it was clear that there was no evidence, nor had there been any investigation into his conduct.

“The AFP have further stated they ‘found there was no evidence, or other information to support the allegation, or establish criminal conduct’ and, as such, they did not launch any investigation nor did they, at any stage, interview me about any matter, criminal or otherwise. I also have confirmation of that in writing.

Christensen said he often travelled to the Philippines to visit his fiance who lives there, and he also sends her money regularly, alongside donating to charities in the region.

The MP described the accusations agaisnt him as a “House of Cards” scenario that made him regret signing up for a career in politics.

“I’ve asked myself why I’ve been the subject of such a vile and hateful smear campaign and I can only think it is because I stood up for my electorate against the powers that be, or rather, that were, on too many occasions. They now want revenge and have sided with Labor in this smear campaign to try and get that revenge.

“I say to my political opponents that if you want me out of Parliament, beat me the old fashioned way – on the hustings, not through smear.” Christensen said.

Speaking to News Corp Christensen blamed the rumours on a MP from the Australian Labor Party, saying that aside from speeding and jaywalking, he’d never committed a criminal offence in his life either in Australia or overseas.

“I have been informed that the person who made the fake allegation to the AFP was a Labor MP and that they have been trying to spread this defamatory gossip about me to the media for a long time.” Christensen said in an interview.

News Corp have reported however that the inquiries began before a ALP politician also raised concern.

OIP Staff. Comments have been closed on this story for legal reasons. 


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