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Thomas Ley and Peter Dutton

This is Thomas Ley.

In 1925 he ran for the federal seat of Barton for the Nationalists (a precursor to the Liberal Party). Ley attempted to win the seat by offering a £2,000 bribe to his Labor opponent, Fredrick McDonald, to withdraw from the race. McDonald instead publicly revealed the attempted bribe.

True to form, voters elected Ley with a large swing. McDonald challenged the result but mysteriously, and conveniently, disappeared without trace before the investigation could progress.

Another of Ley’s public critics, the state MP for Coggee, fell to his death from a cliff in 1927. At around the same time, a man appointed to investigate Ley’s business dealings fell off a boat and drowned while traveling to Newcastle.

After losing his seat in 1928, Ley abandoned his wife and children and returned to England with his long time mistress, Maggie Brooke.

In 1946, Ley wrongly assumed that Brooke was having an affair with a local barman. Ley convinced two of his labourers to help him kidnap, torture and murder the barman before dumping his body in a chalk pit.

In what was imaginatively titled the "chalk pit murder case" in 1947, Ley was tried, convicted and initially sentenced to death. However, after taking into account Ley’s wealth and status, he was declared insane and spent the rest of his life in Broadmoor Asylum.

So why am I writing about a murderer who was an Australia MP more than 90 years ago? Because that’s how far back you have to go to find a monster more evil than Peter Dutton who’s sat in our parliament.


Disagree. Ley was less evil than Dutton.