Pacific

Australian health minister stands down over expense claims

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2015, file photo, Australia's Health Minister Sussan Ley, left in foreground, poses with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, for a group photo after they were sworn in at Government House in Canberra, Australia. Ley stood aside while her travel expense claims are investigated. The scandal surrounding Ley's expense claims could trigger the first reshuffle of Turnbull's Cabinet since his government was re-elected in July 2106. Turnbull said Ley had agreed to stand aside on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 without ministerial pay while the prime minister's department investigated whether her expense claims met guidelines. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2015, file photo, Australia's Health Minister Sussan Ley, left in foreground, poses with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, for a group photo after they were sworn in at Government House in Canberra, Australia. Ley stood aside while her travel expense claims are investigated. The scandal surrounding Ley's expense claims could trigger the first reshuffle of Turnbull's Cabinet since his government was re-elected in July 2106. Turnbull said Ley had agreed to stand aside on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 without ministerial pay while the prime minister's department investigated whether her expense claims met guidelines. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)  (The Associated Press)

Australia's heath minister has stood aside while her travel expense claims are investigated. The scandal surrounding Minister Sussan Ley's expense claims could trigger the first reshuffle of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Cabinet since his government was re-elected six months ago.

Ley has been under scrutiny since last week over allegations that she made taxpayers pay for personal travel in recent years, including to the tourist city of Gold Coast where she bought a luxury apartment in 2015.

Turnbull said Ley had agreed to stand aside on Monday without ministerial pay while the prime minister's department investigated whether her expense claims met guidelines.