Federal Politics

License article

Clashes between Glenn Druery and party founder Keith Littler behind sacking

The office of Ricky Muir has spectacularly imploded, with allegations of racism, sexism, bullying - and even personal threats against the rookie senator - at the heart of a dispute that led to the sacking of his most senior aide, Glenn Druery.

Mr Druery, known as the ''preference whisperer'' for his success in getting micro parties elected, was escorted out of the Parliament by officers on Thursday night.

He was sacked by an email from Senator Muir that accused him of ''not getting along with other staff''.

But Mr Druery has laid the blame for his shock dismissal with Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party founder Keith Littler who he accused on Friday of plotting to take Senator Muir's seat in Parliament through a bizarre plot known as ''Plan Z''. Mr Littler moved from Queensland to Melbourne to head Senator Muir's electorate office with his wife Sharyn Littler.

Senator Muir issued a statement on Friday saying Mr Littler retains his full confidence but Fairfax Media has obtained an incident report to the Parliament dated July 18, raising serious questions about Mr Littler's conduct since July 1.

The email, sent by Peter Breen, a policy adviser in Senator Muir's office, outlines ''numerous clashes'' between Mr Druery and Mr Littler and states that ''at least one Senator'' has complained about Mr Littler.


''Mr Littler and Mr Druery had numerous clashes about Mr Littler's presence in the office, his volatile temper, aggression, offensive language, inappropriate remarks about Aboriginal people, Asians and women and his disagreeable demeanour more generally when confronted by people or issues that did not comply with his world view,'' the letter states.

''[Littler] is a heavy smoker and appeared to have no consideration for the comfort of others in the confined space of the Canberra office.

''At least one Senator complained about the way they were treated by Mr Littler as did lobbyists and staffers.

''It should also be said that Mr Druery has had a difficult relationship with Mr Littler ever since he, Mr Littler, made personal threats against Senator Muir prior to the Senator taking office over the appropriate pay-grade at which Mr Littler and his wife should be employed.''

Mr Breen ends the letter by saying: ''I have been advised by Human Resources at the Department of Finance that I have a legal obligation to make this incident report.''

Mr Littler, a truck driver who produces motor sport programs known as 'The Grunt Files', did not return calls.

Senator Muir issued a statement in support of Mr Littler, saying it was his decision alone to sack Mr Druery.

Mr Druery said: ''I don't expect the party to survive in the long term but I wish Ricky all the best.''