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Speaker, Chapman in standoff over resignation date

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A standoff between Speaker Dan Cregan and former Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman over the timing of her resignation looks set to dominate the first sitting week of the new South Australian parliament.

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Chapman, who announced she would be resigning from politics just hours after David Speirs won the Liberal Party leadership on April 19, intends to vacate her blue-ribbon seat of Bragg on May 31.

But Cregan, a former Liberal MP now re-installed as independent speaker of the Lower House, sought to issue Chapman her marching orders over the weekend.

He argued Section 30 of the South Australian Constitution does not allow a sitting member to choose when they will resign from parliament if they have formally notified the speaker of their intention to resign.

But Chapman hit back on Sunday, saying she had not formally resigned but only signalled her intention to resign.

“[On Saturday night] I received an emailed letter from the Speaker … I confirm I have given notice of my intention to resign,” she said.

“I have not resigned.

“I will continue my correspondence on this matter with the Speaker.”

The standoff looks set to come to a head when parliament returns on Tuesday for its first sitting week since Labor’s rout at the March 19 state election.

Labor on Sunday renewed its call for any other member of the Liberal Party who wished to resign to make their intentions clear to prevent repeat byelections.

The Liberals will be without Opposition leader Speirs and newly-elected Deputy Leader John Gardner when parliament returns, after both leaders tested positive for COVID-19.

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