Lidia Thorpe Has Resigned As Deputy Greens Leader After Ex-Bikie Relationship Was Exposed
Greens leader Adam Bandt accepted Thorpe's resignation, saying the senator had made a "significant lack of judgement."
Greens senator Lydia Thorpe has resigned as Deputy leader of the party after staffers revealed an undisclosed relationship between Thorpe and ex-Rebel motorcycle chairman Dean Martin.
Leader of the Greens Adam Bandt demanded Thorpe’s resignation today after news broke that Thorpe participated in a relationship with Martin in 2021. Thorpe was reportedly dating the ex-chairman of the Rebel motorcycle club while serving on a law enforcement committee, which reviewed details like how AFP officers conduct hidden surveillance of biker gangs suspected of illegal activities.
“We met through Blak activism and briefly dated in early 2021,” Thorpe told the ABC.
“We remain friends and have collaborated on our shared interests advocating for the rights of First Nations peoples.”
Martin stepped down as the chairman of the Victorian chapter of the Rebels in 2018 following a 25-year association with the club. While Martin’s brother, Shane Martin, was deported to New Zealand due to his criminal record and history with the gang, Dean Martin has no criminal convictions.
Thorpe told the ABC that documents witnessed by her which pertained to the AFP’s surveillance of motorcycle gangs were “treated in confidence”.
“Obviously, I’m concerned about the criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle clubs in general. But when we met, Mr Martin was no longer involved with that world,” Thorpe said.
Political staffers within Thorpe’s office all separately discovered the undisclosed relationship approximately 18 months ago. Thorpe allegedly resisted the pleas of staffers to disclose the relationship with Greens leader Adam Bandt, while Bandt’s chief of staff allegedly said to a staffer “do you mind if we don’t tell Adam?” after being confronted with the news.
In a statement, Greens leader Adam Bandt said that Thorpe had made a ‘significant lack of judgement’, but signalled that she would remain in the Greens party to help work on the Green’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Statements from Adam Bandt & Lidia Thorpe as she resists as Greens deputy Senate leader
Bandt: “a significant lack of judgement”
Thorpe: “I accept that I have made mistakes and have not exercised good judgement” pic.twitter.com/iVyhwWBH1e
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 20, 2022
“At a minimum, Senator Thorpe needed to disclose to me her connection to Mr Martin and her failure to do some showed a significant lack of judgement.”
“Senator Thorpe has important work to do on First Nations justice including on progressing Truth, Treaty, and Voice and I want her to be able to do that work.”
Photo credit: Sam Mooy/Getty Images