3 Feb 2005

PNG's Sir William Skate expelled by his party

9:15 pm on 3 February 2005

The Papua New Guinea Opposition Leader and head of the People's National Congress, Peter O'Neill, says the former Prime Minister, Sir William Skate, has been dumped from the party and the Opposition.

Mr O'Neill's move comes two days after Sir William announced that he intends seeking a non-partisan role in Parliament and will sit in the middle benches when the next session starts in a fortnight.

Mr O'Neill says the remaining PNC membership considered that Sir William had to be expelled from the party to comply with the political integrity laws.

Earlier this week in a letter to Mr O'Neill, Sir William says he wants to concentrate on National Capital District development issues and to be on hand to offer the Government advice.

He says he also wants to end speculation and gossip that he has designs on the prime minister's job.