Fri, 26 Jun, 2020

Labor MP suspended after ASIO raid and suspected links to Chinese Communist Party

Labor MP suspended after ASIO raid and suspected links to Chinese Communist Party

Australian Federal Police and spy agency ASIO have raided the Sydney home of a NSW Labor MP amid allegations of a Chinese government plot to influence a serving politician.

The Rockdale house belonging to NSW upper house Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane was searched on Friday amid questions about his links to China.

ASIO is focusing on whether Chinese government agents were aiming to influence Australian politics through Moselmane, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay said she had been told police and ASIO members had a warrant to search Moselmane’s parliamentary office.

Moselmane’s membership of NSW Labor will be suspended and he will no longer sit in the Labor parliamentary caucus, McKay said.

“There’s an expectation on MPs that, whatever they do, it’s in the best interests of the people of the state,” McKay said.

“I’d hope every single MP in the parliament – not just on the Labor side but the Liberal and National Party side and crossbench – has that at the heart of their actions.

“I’m very restricted in what I can and can’t say.”

In April, Moselmane resigned as assistant president of the Legislative Council after repeatedly praising Chinese President Xi Jinping’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

“For the People’s Republic of China, President Xi stepped up and provided that leadership. He mustered the resources of the nation and together with the great people of China – fought it and contained it,” Moselmane wrote on his personal website.

He had taken nine privately funded trips to China since entering the NSW parliament in 2009, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Disclosure records showed his transport and hospitality costs were often covered by Chinese government officials or agencies.