People Power founder Vern Hughes and his business partner Robyn Allcock were both dumped at Saturday’s AGM as the membership sent an emphatic message for a change in direction.

Despite previously saying he would not stand, Hughes ran again for President but was comfortably defeated by former Portland mayor Mike Noske, who issued this press release on Sunday.

Allcock also initially said she wouldn’t be standing but then lodged a last minute nomination for secretary but was easily defeated by disability campaigner Deborah Holmes.

It was quite a spectacular farewell performance from the embittered duo. Hughes changed the venue at the last minute, turned up late and then delivered a President’s report looking back over the past six years that was so poisonous the 50 members in attendance voted not to accept it.

I was banned from attending after last week’s trumped-up “expulsion” and then copped a big spray along with plenty of others but the missus, Paula Piccinini, took up the cudgels and gave back plenty in return.

When it came to the financials, Hughes refused to let the acting Treasurer deliver the bad news and instead himself tabled a meaningless one-pager that included no information relating to the $150,000 Victorian election campaign that was waged.

After the farce of his President’s and Treasurer’s reports, acting Secretary Hughes, who handled the entire proxy lodgment process himself, left the building and relied on his wife to ferry his own proxies back and forth from around the corner.

On hearing the result, he then pulled the People Power website. It is not looking good for a cooperative handover.

Sadly, Hughes and Allcock were deluded that this was all about my bogus expulsion. It wasn’t. The candidates and members simply rose up as one to excise this destructive duo from the party once and for all. I played no part in organising any of the 17 board nominations, although Paula did vote 16 proxies at the AGM, which were irrelevant in the end given the decisiveness of the result.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey