Ricky Muir from the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party has been scarce since winning a Senate seat at the September election.Federal politics full coverage
The political party behind 4WD-loving senator-elect, Ricky Muir, has descended into civil war.
The Queensland-based founders of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party have sacked the leadership of the Victorian arm of the party – effectively leaving the 32 year-old media-shy father of five representing a party that does not currently exist in that state.
In a letter sent over the weekend to 290 Motoring Enthusiast members in Victoria, party chairman Tony Standfield said the central executive, run out of Queensland, would take on a caretaker role before a new federal state council can be voted into existence.
The executive, which includes party founder and national secretary Keith Littler, raised six points justifying the decision to terminate the five-member Victorian hierarchy.
They included the establishment of an unauthorised Facebook page by the Victorian branch, correspondence with the media against the party’s strict guidelines and policy announcements that did not square with the executive’s position.
“The welfare of the AMEP has been compromised by sending conflicting messages to the public regarding AMEP’s opinion and stance on Road Safety initiatives,” Mr Standfield wrote.
“Despite several meetings, emails and telephone conversations in which the Executive of the Victorian FSC [federal state council] has agreed to work with the AMEP Central Executive there is still a blatant disregard for the direction and instructions set by the AMEP Central Executive.”
But the former chairman of the Victorian federal state council, Scott McDonald, said the real motivation behind the sackings was a naked power grab by the central executive.
The party was established in May in Queensland by Mr Littler and, Mr McDonald said, it had been expected that any seat in Parliament was most likely to be won in that state not Victoria.
Mr Littler is co-owner of Warrior Films which produces the Grunt Files, a DVD and TV series “focusing on the culture and lifestyle of the car enthusiast”. He is currently trying to “crowd source” funding to keep the project going.
Mr McDonald, who ran Mr Muir’s campaign, claimed Mr Littler and Mr Standfield are trying to “overpower Ricky”. He said: “They won’t allow Ricky to talk to anybody about anything. Not even his friends can get hold of him.”
Mr McDonald said the Liberal Party and Palmer United, who lost narrowly to Mr Muir, would be interested to know that “Ricky is an elected senator without a party”.
A spokesman for the Australian Electoral Commission said the situation did not affect the election of Mr Muir in Victoria under the Commonwealth Electoral Act.
Mr Littler and Mr Standfield did not return calls.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.