JOHN Tate, former Newcastle lord mayor and an independent candidate in the last state election, says he will be happy to answer any questions the ICAC has about his campaign funding.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Tate said he had read the transcript of evidence of former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay.
Ms McKay alleged Mr Tate had been taking advice from former Labor ministerial staffer Ann Wills, who Ms McKay said had rented office space from Mr Tate. Mr Tate rejected the claims.
‘‘I have already gone on record but I want to state again that I have not received any financial assistance from [Nathan] Tinkler or any entity associated or connected with him,’’ he said.
‘‘I understand everybody is interested in this matter including myself.’’
He said he was keen to comment further, but next week.
Speaking in Newcastle yesterday, Ms McKay’s former ministerial colleague Michael Daley said he was not aware of an internal campaign to undermine her hold on the seat of Newcastle.
Mr Daley, who was police and finance minister, said he had not heard of the allegations Ms McKay raised in ICAC on Thursday.
‘‘The first I knew of the evidence of Jodi McKay was when I heard it yesterday. She didn’t raise it with me or anybody else to my knowledge,’’ he said.
‘‘I like Jodi McKay a lot. People will have their own views about the evidence that she gave to ICAC yesterday. They were strong views and I don’t think I can usefully add anything to what Jodi McKay said yesterday.’’
Mr Daley said he hoped Ms McKay’s evidence would be seen in the inquiry’s broader context.
‘‘It was all about people in business and other circles of life who, it appeared, didn’t want to comply with the ban that Labor premier Nathan Rees put on developers donating to political parties.’’
COUNSEL assisting ICAC Geoffrey Watson asked Buildev director Darren Williams yesterday if he had ever been involved with prominent developer Hilton Grugeon and Newcastle lord mayor Jeff McCloy in a corrupt funding of a political campaign.
Mr Williams responded ‘‘no’’.
A spokeswoman for Cr McCloy said later the lord mayor understood there had been a fleeting reference to him, but no allegations and ‘‘he was not expecting any’’.
Aware that his name had also been raised, Mr Grugeon said ‘‘at this point in time I know nothing". ‘‘These matters are very serious ... and I am an open book."
High-profile retailer Paul Murphy also scored a brief mention for an unknown reason, referred to as ‘‘the carpet man’’.