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Theophanous Spits Dummy At Party That Gave Him 19 Years In Parliament

The Labor member for Calwell, Andrew Theophanous, has announced that he is quitting the Australian Labor Party to sit as an independent in the House of Representatives.

Andrew TheophanousTheophanous is facing 27 criminal charges arising out of an investigation by the National Crime Authority relating to immigration procedures. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including allegations that he defrauded the Commonwealth and accepted $35,000 to help people with immigration problems. His trial has not yet taken place.

Theophanous claimed at a press conference today that the reason he was resigning from the ALP was because faction leaders have reneged on a deal to give his brother, Theo, the Calwell pre-selection.

Theo Theophanous is currently one of the members for Jika Jika in the Victorian Legislative Council. He was removed from a leadership position prior to the last election and failed to be chosen as a minister in the Bracks government.

Andrew Theophanous was first elected to Parliament as the member for Burke in 1980 and then to the newly-created seat of Calwell in 1984. Calwell is a safe Labor electorate. Theophanous won it with 62.36% of the primary vote and 68.98% of the two-party-preferred vote in 1998.

Independent Members – House – 1998

The 1998 Federal Election resulted in just one independent member being returned to the House of Representatives.

The election was held on October 3, 1998.

Independent Members of the House of Representatives 1998
1 member
Name Division, State First
Andren, Peter James Calare, NSW 1996

Note: Peter Andren was the only independent member elected in 1998.

He was subsequently joined by Andrew Theophanous (Calwell, Vic) who resigned from the ALP on April 18, 2000, and by Bob Katter (Kennedy, Qld) who resigned from the National Party in July 2001.

There have been a number of independent members of the House of Representatives in recent years. All, apart from Andren, were previously elected as members of a party. Andren and Ted Mack (North Sydney, 1990-96) have been the only genuine independents to sit in the House in the post-war era.