Federal Liberal MP Don Randall, who was embroiled in an expenses row, has quit his position on a powerful parliamentary committee overseeing ethical standards, just hours after his appointment was revealed.
The West Australian revealed earlier today that Prime Minister Tony Abbott had appointed Mr Randall to the powerful committee charged with overseeing federal politicians’ behaviour.
But just hours later a spokeswoman said that Mr Randall had “requested he be removed from this committee”.
Mr Randall's appointment came despite him being embroiled in a series of high-profile entitlements scandals.
House Speaker Bronwyn Bishop confirmed this morning that Mr Randall had been reappointed to the Committee of Privileges and Members Interests.
The committee oversees the rules of Parliament and whether MPs are abiding by them.
Traditionally, when MPs are accused of indiscretions, they are referred to the Privileges Committee which then sits in judgment.
It has the power of censure over MPs and in extreme cases can even recommend fines or jail terms.
Earlier this year Mr Randall was forced to pay back more than $5000 in taxpayer funds after he billed the Commonwealth to fly from Perth to Cairns where he had recently purchased an investment property.
Though the member for the southern seat of Canning paid the money back, he later told The West Australian he believed he had done nothing wrong and was entitled to make such claims.
Mr Randall has refused to pay back any funds over a trip he and his wife made to Melbourne where they went to the football.
Asked at a press conference today about the appointment, Leader of the House Christopher Pyne said Mr Randall was a “valued colleague”. “He's a very good friend, and I'm sure he'll do an excellent job,” he said.
The Randall scandals as well as a number of other sensational stories of entitlements abuse forced Mr Abbott to introduce reforms of the entitlements system - including the levying of financial penalties on MPs caught misusing taxpayer funds.
Mr Abbott was also caught up in the furore around expenses, with revelations he used taxpayer funds to fly to the NSW coastal city of Port Macquarie to compete in an iron man event.
All House Committees have been re-formed following the change in Government. Mr Randall had previously been on the Committee.
The Privileges Committee looks at claims of abuse of parliamentary privilege or where someone is accused of contempt.
The committee can recommend to the House of Representatives that action be taken against MPs or private citizens.
They include imprisonment for up to six months, fines of up to $5000 against an individual and of up to $25,000 against a company.