A new political party promising to restore the honesty and integrity of the Victorian parliament has been created by a disbarred former school teacher after it was discovered he had oral sex with a pupil and proposed another.
The Victorians Party, a political movement created by small business owners frustrated by the state’s prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns, confirmed on Monday that party secretary Martin John Livingston had abruptly resigned.
He came shortly after age brought the party’s attention to a 2010 finding by the state regulatory authority for teachers that Livingston had engaged in gross misconduct with two female students.
A party spokesperson said the organization was previously unaware of the decision against Livingston, who was also investigated by police over the allegations and has not been charged.
“The Victorians Party has become aware of a historic allegation against party volunteer Martin Livingston,” the spokesman said.
“Mr. Livingston, who has not been charged following a police investigation and strenuously denies the allegation, has made the decision to resign from all positions held and to cease his voluntary work with the Victorians Party with immediate effect.”
Livingston did not return calls from age. He has worked for the Victorians Party on a voluntary basis since December.
The party manager is Bill Lang, the executive director of Small Business Australia. Last month, the party announced its first nominees and signaled its intention to field candidates for every upper and lower house seat in the November state elections.
The party’s main candidates are businesswoman Ingrid Maynard and Moreland councilor Oscar Yildiz. It is not suggested that Lang, Maynard or Yildiz knew about the decision against Livingston.
The failure to properly vet the background of one of the party’s most senior office holders raises questions about the process for selecting aspiring MPs.