‘It is time’: Tony Nutt resigns as Liberal party’s federal director | Australia news

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Tony Nutt has resigned as federal director of the Liberal party, citing 35 years of service to the party and calling for renewal before the next election.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Nutt said he had told the federal president, Richard Alston, that a new director should be appointed to take the party to the next election in two years’ time.

Malcolm Turnbull has thanked Nutt for his “extraordinary service” to the party, describing him as the “consummate political professional” and the Liberal party’s most loyal and dedicated servant.

Nutt said he had concluded “it is time” because of his work over six busy years, including three general elections (Victoria 2010, New South Wales 2015, federal 2016) as campaign director, his work on the 2013 federal election for Brian Loughnane, “two transitions for prime ministers Turnbull and Abbott, and [managing] the very difficult Icac matter in NSW in 2014-15 before running Mike Baird’s campaign”.

In 2014-15 the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigated the New South Wales Liberal party and the Free Enterprise Foundation for allegedly taking donations in breach of electoral law, prompting a string of resignations and causing the NSW electoral commission to withhold public funds until it produced a full list of donors.

Nutt noted that the federal executive would meet later this week and receive a report from Andrew Robb on the 2016 election.

“Invariably a close result has been the subject of criticism,” he said, adding that Robb’s report “will have a number of important recommendations”.

“This is as it should be because all…

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