Labor may dump Joe Hockey as US ambassador if it wins election

Mr Hockey has found himself embroiled in the Liberal Party's HelloWorld scandal

Mr Hockey has found himself embroiled in the Liberal Party's HelloWorld scandal Photo: AAP

Federal Labor will consider whether to sack Joe Hockey as ambassador to the United States if the party wins the next election.

Mr Hockey is under scrutiny over the Liberal’s links to travel company Helloworld, whose chief executive is the federal party treasurer.

The ambassador reportedly asked embassy staff to meet with Helloworld before it lobbied for government work.

“If we won office we would decide then what we would do about it,” Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers told Sky News on Thursday.

A Labor spokesman told AAP the party is not going to prejudge Mr Hockey, but they will pursue the issue in Senate estimates. 

“This is very serious and Mr Hockey has questions to answer,” the Labor spokesman said.

Mr Hockey is one of the top 20 shareholders in Helloworld, which is run by Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Burnes.

It has been reported Labor will dump Mr Hockey as ambassador if it wins this year’s federal election.

“I think this is an issue that has been trumped and overblown by a Labor Party who has destroyed our border security in the short space of two weeks,” Attorney-General Christian Porter told the ABC.

When asked if Mr Hockey’s conduct should be looked at, Mr Porter said: “I am sure that this matter will be the subject of inquiry from the prime minister or to members of parliament but I am not exactly sure what it is that you’re saying has occurred or needs to be investigated.”

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he “genuinely thought” he had paid for a family holiday booked through Mr Burnes.
The senator has now paid $2780 for flights to Singapore in January 2018, after it was revealed he got the holiday for free.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack dismissed the Helloworld controversy as a “Canberra bubble” issue.

“There are always ups and downs and ebbs and flows with any political week,” he told reporters.


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