‘Preference whisperer’ Glenn Druery says he has met with senior staff and politicians from the Liberal and Labor parties and says he feels “betrayed” by a leaked video of him discussing deals.
- A video of Glenn Druery boasting about his influence was released by the Angry Victorians Party
- Mr Druery helps micro parties with preference deals, which is not illegal in Victoria but has prompted criticism
- Mr Druery says he has never met Premier Daniel Andrews but met with his chief of staff
Mr Druery helps micro parties cobble together complex preference arrangements to get elected to Victoria’s upper house. The practice is not illegal.
On Thursday, the Angry Victorians Party released a secretly recorded video in which Mr Druery discussed preference deals and boasted about his influence.
The revelations re-ignited calls for Victoria’s complex upper-house group voting ticket system to be reformed.
In one video excerpt released by the micro party, Mr Druery said he was confident Labor would win the upcoming election and discussed how he needed to deliver a crossbench the party could work with.
Today, Mr Druery told the ABC that his advice to all crossbenchers was to not be obstructionist towards the government of the day.
“You must learn to work with the government of the day, be it Labor or Liberal. It doesn’t mean to you have to bend over backwards for them, but there’s no joy in being obstructionist,” he said.
Mr Druery said he had never met Premier Daniel Andrews but had met his chief of staff Lissie Ratcliffe to discuss staffing arrangements for the crossbench. He was an adviser to the Derryn Hinch Justice Party at the time.
“No deals were discussed,” he said.
In the videos leaked on Thursday, Mr Druery said the Labor government had been unwilling to reform the voting system because it kept their opponents at bay.
But with so much legislation before the crossbench he today argued that they needed extra staff to understand all the bills.
“We needed a better process,” he said.
“Any assertion that I’m here to help Labor is absolute nonsense. It’s spin from the Liberals,” he said.
“There’s a lot of people who would demonise what I do, it’s not corrupt, it’s not rorting, it’s helping ordinary people get elected.”
“I’m proud of my record.”
In the secretly recorded video, Mr Druery said he helped nine people get elected to the state parliament at the last election.
Today, he also lashed out at the Angry Victorians Party for what he called a betrayal of trust for recording and distributing the video of their private conversation.
On Thursday, the party said it wanted to highlight the need for accountability, integrity and transparency in the political system.
Premier says staffers talk ‘all the time’
On Friday morning, Mr Andrews defended the meeting between Mr Druery and his chief of staff — which he said took place early in 2019 — and said his staff “talk to political staffers all the time”.
“I don’t employ the bloke, I don’t know the bloke, my party has never employed him, nor will we,” he said.
“He was there because the Hinch Party, in their wisdom, employed him as a staffer.
“We meet with and talk to staffers from the Liberal Party, the National Party, every party and I think you’d probably be rightly critical of us if we did not engage with staff who were chosen by members of parliament.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy called on the Premier to commit to scrapping the group voting ticket system regardless of who wins the election.
“We can agree to change it today if the Premier agrees to change it today. I certainly do,” he said.
“We can end all this. We can end the concept of people paying to get into the Victorian parliament.”
But Mr Andrews said it was important to wait to see the findings of a post-election review before having a “more fulsome conversation”.