Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
NT Labor sacks MP for ‘dishonest acts’

A Territory Labor MP has been dumped by the party for allegedly lying about an inappropriate relationship amid media claims of illegal drug use by unnamed MPs.

February 18, 2021

Northern Territory Labor has dumped a member of its parliamentary team for allegedly lying about an inappropriate relationship.

Former policeman turned politician Mark Turner was the party’s deputy Speaker and caucus chair.

But the member for Blain was on Thursday sacked, with Chief Minister Michael Gunner saying the 37-year-old had lost his trust.

“I don’t believe that the Member for Blain was completely forthcoming with me or his colleagues about the extent of his friendship with the private citizen,” Mr Gunner said in a statement, referring to discussions he had with Mr Turner earlier in the week.

Mr Gunner said it had come to the party’s attention that Mr Turner “continues to act dishonestly” about his relationships and interactions with others.

“The Member for Blain has lost my trust. He has lost the trust of the caucus. He is no longer a member of Labor’s parliamentary team.

Earlier, Mr Turner denied allegations he had engaged in any illegal activity following local media reports that unnamed party members were involved in a “cocaine sex scandal”.

He told parliament on Wednesday he was instead involved in an inappropriate consensual relationship with a woman.

Mr Gunner said Territory Labor had tried to support Mr Turner “through a difficult personal issue” that had “caused pain and embarrassment for his family”.

“But he has not met the standards I have set for our team, or the standards our team holds itself to,” he said.

Mr Gunner said a male member of his staff had also resigned in the wake of the allegations, and also denied any criminal activity.

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