No evidence New South Wales Premier resigned over bribes from Pfizer or AstraZeneca

12 October 2021
What was claimed

Former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has resigned after accepting $65m in bribes from AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

Our verdict

While Ms Berejiklian has resigned following a corruption probe, it has nothing to do with bribes from Pfizer or AstraZeneca. There is no evidence of bribery from either company.

A Facebook post says that former New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian was forced to resign over allegations she took $65 million in “bribery money” from AstraZeneca and Pfizer “to push mandatory vaccinations”. 

The post claims the Australian politician stepped down after she, along with others, faced “police investigation”. 

While Ms Berejilkian announced her resignation on 1 October following news of a corruption probe, there is no evidence or allegations of a bribery scandal linked to vaccinations or pharmaceutical companies.

Ms Berejiklian stood down after anti-corruption watchdog the Independent Commission Against Corruption began investigating her dealings with New South Wales MP Daryl Maguire, whom she was also in a personal relationship with, and funding awarded to various Australian institutions. 

The investigation reportedly concerns $5.5 million (AUD) in grants that her government gave to community organisations in Mr Maguire’s electorate between 2012 and 2018. 

In her resignation speech, Ms Berejiklian stated that she had “always acted with the highest level of integrity.”

The investigation is not related to any dealings with AstraZeneca, Pfizer or vaccines. Reuters Fact Check has also looked into these claims and found them to be inaccurate.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because there is no evidence that Gladys Berejiklian accepted bribes from Pfizer or AstraZeneca, or any allegations of the sort.

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