Senator Ricky Muir has been expelled by the Vic branch of his Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, but the national office says the move is not valid.
Key cross bench senator Ricky Muir is under pressure from his own Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party members to stand aside.
Senator Muir has faced criticism from fellow party members since he struck an agreement to vote with the Palmer United Party.
But the Victorian “Federal State Council” of the AMEP, which held its first annual meeting at Melbourne’s Lazy Moe’s restaurant on Wednesday night, has stepped up the pressure.
The branch voted to revoke Senator Muir’s membership and no longer recognise him as representing the party in Victoria.
Senator Muir was invited to the meeting, the branch’s Facebook page says.
“The Vic (sic) members recognise that there is no direct course of action available when it comes to an elected senator,” one of the motions reads.
“However they make it very clear that Ricky Muir faces a term as an independent senator, for his endorsement has been withdrawn by AMEP Vic.
“He has been expelled from the AMEP Vic branch, his membership revoked and he is no longer recognised as a representative of Vic motoring enthusiasts.”
However, the AMEP’s national officer Keith Littler, based in Queensland, said the Melbourne meeting was unauthorised and its decisions did not stand.
“The AMEP-Vic Branch is not a part of the AMEP and is not recognised by the AMEP as having any affiliation or jurisdiction,” Mr Littler said in a statement.
“The Victorian FSC was dismissed constitutionally by the party executive shortly after the September 2013 election after members of the Victorian FSC acted in a manner considered to be not in the best interest of the AMEP or of then Senator-elect Ricky Muir.”
The AMEP is registered at a national level, but not at the Victorian state level.
However, Victorian branch spokesman Peter Kazantzis has issued submissions to parliamentary inquiries on behalf of the party.
He posted criticism of Senator Muir on Facebook this week.
“YOU were elected to represent the Victorian Motoring Enthusiasts and their WILL,” Mr Kazantzis wrote.
“How are you doing that, given YOU have not communicated with the enthusiasts in Victoria?”
Senator Muir replied via Facebook: “Whilst I have only been in the job a short time, plans are already in place to meet with Constituants (sic). Stay tuned for more information.”
The senator holds a crucial cross bench vote for the government, which requires six extra votes to pass legislation.