The Queensland Liberal Party has told AM that it is not pressuring MHR Andrew Laming to resign, despite the Federal Police investigation into allegation he fraudulently claimed $67,000 worth of taxpayer funds for printing campaign material.

Senior Liberal sources, however, have told Crikey that there is pressure on the Bowman MP to resign from the Prime Minister’s office down.

A resignation, of course, would precipitate a by-election – but a by-election on the old boundaries. Bowman has become safer since the redistribution.

Sniff around Brisbane and a whole range of other claims about Laming emerge. How would the Government fare in a by-election if Laming gets too on the nose?

It’s irresistible to draw a parallel with the Ryan by-election back in 2001, early in another election year. The Government was unpopular. It lost the seat – but won it back and was returned at the general election.

Peter Fray

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