John Robertson
John Robertson JoJo Newby

Robertson under scrutiny amid speculation over leadership

THE New South Wales Opposition is burying its head in the sand as speculation swirls that John Robertson's hold over the leadership is crumbling beneath him.

The Opposition Leader is the centre of allegations he was offered a $3 million bribe from Sydney businessman Michael McGurk, who was murdered in 2009.

Mr McGurk is believed to have approached Mr Robertson prior to 2007.

The Opposition Leader confirmed the attempted bribe in reports by Sydney's metropolitan media, prompting questions over whether he was the right man to keep leading the party.

Its understood the cash offer was made in relation to the sale of a property owned by Unions NSW, which was led by Mr Robertson at the time.

It was later sold to a developer.

APN attempted to contact Mr Robertson, upper house Labor leader Luke Foley and Labor's Sydney headquarters but received no response before deadline on Monday.

The allegations caught the eye of the government too.

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith confirmed through a spokeswoman that the issue would be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, or ICAC.

"In light of the ICAC's earlier inquiry - Operation Napier - into alleged conduct arising out of the purchase of the Currawong estate, the commission may be interested in reviewing the latest developments," she said.

Unnamed Opposition sources told Sydney's Daily Telegraph that Treasury spokesman Michael Daley or former premier Nathan Rees would likely take the leadership mantle from Mr Robertson.

Mr Robertson reportedly described Mr Smith's actions as "nothing more than a political stunt by the O'Farrell government".


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