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    New Zealand's Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, left, meets with Bronwyn Bishop, speaker of the house of the Australian Parliament in Canberra, Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Embattled Australian House Speaker Resigns Amid Expense Scandal

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    Asia & Pacific
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    Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives resigned on Sunday amid an expenses scandal.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The embattled speaker of the Australian House of Representatives resigned on Sunday amid an expenses scandal.

    “I have today written to the Governor-General and tendered my resignation as Speaker of the House of Representatives effective immediately,” Bronwyn Bishop said in a statement.

    Bishop has come under public scrutiny for a 2014 helicopter ride to the ruling Liberal Party fundraiser that cost Australian taxpayers an estimated $3,900.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had placed the embattled speaker on probation two weeks ago, announced a comprehensive review of entitlements system abuse at a press conference on Sunday.

    On Thursday, the Guardian revealed 15 additional instances where Bishop claimed travel allowances as families and human services committee chair in 2005-2006. The committee was not conducting hearings at the time, according to records obtained by the publication.

    Bishop has repaid the money for her controversial 46-mile charter flight from Melbourne to Geelong, plus an additional 1,300 Australian dollars, and formally apologized last week.


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