MP Gareth Ward appointed Acting Chief Whip

Kiama MP Gareth Ward’s rise through the NSW Government ranks has continued thanks to the latest round of corruption-related resignations.

The young Illawarra politician has been appointed Acting Chief Whip in the NSW Parliament after government whip Andrew Cornwall stood down on Wednesday.

The Charleston MP, along with member for Newcastle Tim Owen, resigned from the parliamentary Liberal Party and relinquished their parliamentary positions after Independent Commission Against Corruption revelations about the funding for their 2011 election campaigns.

During its inquiry into Liberal Party fund-raising, the commission heard Mr Cornwell had given evidence that property developer and Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy called him to a meeting in his Bentley before the last election and handed over cash totalling $10,000.

The money was allegedly later given to the Liberal Party, however Mr McCloy denies the claims.

Mr Ward was elected unopposed as deputy government whip during the cabinet reshuffle in May, making him the obvious stand in since Mr Cornwell’s departure.

A party meeting will decide if he gets the job permanently next week.

- WITH SMH

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