NSW Labor chooses Bob Nanva as replacement for Khal Asfour in Upper House spot

NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns has made a “captain’s pick” to replace Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour on the party’s Upper House ticket.

NSW’s Labor’s general secretary Bob Nanva has been parachuted into the winnable position less than a week after Mr Asfour vacated the spot due to his expense claims while mayor.

He claimed rate-payer funds for luxury clothes and a massage while on a work trip to Tokyo.

An independent probe cleared Mr Asfour of wrongdoing after explosive accusations of corruption were levelled against him by former Labor MP Tania Mihailuk.

Ms Mihailuk used parliamentary privilege to accuse Mr Asfour of acting in the interests of developers and linked him to jailed former Labor minister Eddie Obeid.

Khal Asfour looks at the camera smiling
Khal Asfour’s candidacy caused ruptions in the Labor Party.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Mr Nanva has been in the general secretary role for three-and-a-half years.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns said he would be “a first class candidate”.

“I do not believe a protracted preselection is in the best interests of NSW Labor right now,” Mr Minns said in a statement.

“As a result, I asked Bob Nanva to agree to be nominated for the vacancy on the Labor Upper House ticket.”

Mr Nanva was granted special dispensation to run for the Upper House because party rules state that he must hold the position of general secretary for at least five years before making a tilt at public office.

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