Local government minister Paul Toole. Pic: Peter RaeICAC: August 2014 archive, Operation Spicer

LOCAL government minister Paul Toole has urged Jeff McCloy to consider stepping down as mayor, warning “every possible legal avenue” would be explored.

“As Minister for Local Government, I expect every Mayor and Councillor in NSW to adhere to the highest standards of honesty and integrity,” Mr Toole said.

“That is why I am today urging Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy to consider his position.”

“We are looking at every possible legal avenue to ensure the needs of the Newcastle community are put first.”

Mr Toole’s statement, released on Friday afternoon, follows his earlier calls on Tuesday for Cr McCloy to step aside.

Premier Mike Baird also said Cr McCloy should consider his position on Tuesday while urging former MPsAndrew Cornwell and Tim Owen to stand down from parliament.