MPs told their time is up as factions battle over Labor preselections

At least six sitting Victorian Labor MPs have been told they will be dumped from Parliament amid a factional feud threatening to cause chaos for the Andrews government.

Lower house members Robin Scott, Marlene Kairouz and Frank McGuire will be challenged.

Former ministers Marlene Kairouz and Robin Scott have been told they will not be backed for preselection. Credit:The Age

Former minister Luke Donnellan has been informed he will not be supported, but a member of his faction will be allowed to replace him.

In the upper house, Cesar Melhem and Kaushaliya Vaghela will be bumped down into positions on the ballot that will probably be unwinnable.

Mr McGuire will be challenged by SDA-aligned Kathleen Matthews-Ward. Pascoe Vale MP Lizzie Blandthorn is expected to move to the upper house.

With nominations to close on Friday, factions in the Labor Party were signing off on their plans on Thursday.

Cesar Melhem in the State Parliament.Credit:Jason South

Mr Scott, Ms Kairouz and Ms Vaghela are part of dumped Labor minister Adem Somyurek’s Moderates faction, while Mr Donnellan, Mr McGuire and Mr Melhem are part of the Australian Workers Union.

When Mr Somyurek exited the party he left a power vacuum that was filled by elements of the Right faction and Socialist Left.

The Right’s Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, and former senator Stephen Conroy’s faction, signed a stability pact with the Socialist Left earlier this year, cutting out forces close to the Moderates, including the AWU and the Plumbers Union.

The dominant factions within Labor fear the preselections of Mr Scott, Ms Kairouz and Mr Donnellan – all of whom have been named in an anti-corruption commission investigation centred on Mr Somyurek’s Moderates faction – could hurt Labor’s prospects in 2022, raising further integrity and probity questions.

All of the lower house MPs are expected to fight the bids to topple them. However, the national executive that decides preselections is dominated by anti-Somyurek force

The Age this week revealed this week that as many as 10 MPs could be pressured to leave Parliament as part of a factional purge, prompting crisis talks and warnings that some will quit early and trigger damaging byelections, while dumped upper house MPs could threaten to derail the government’s legislative agenda in the upper house, where Labor has 17 seats out of 40.

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