Time’s up for Fo­ley in fight for seat

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT -

NSW La­bor’s Luke Fo­ley will not fight to re­tain the seat of Auburn, with al­le­ga­tions he groped an ABC jour­nal­ist push­ing se­nior MPs to pub­licly dis­avow their for­mer leader.

Two can­di­dates emerged to lead the party yes­ter­day while the NSW Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian rounded on her own min­is­ter, David El­liott, for his role in air­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions with­out the woman’s con­sent.

Mr Fo­ley an­nounced on Thurs­day he would re­sign as leader af­ter jour­nal­ist Ash­leigh Raper al­leged he put his hand in her un­der­wear at a 2016 Christ­mas Party.

The out­go­ing leader said he would fight to clear his name and launch defama­tion pro­ceed­ings.

But his deputy Michael Da­ley and La­bor’s high­es­trank­ing fe­male MP Jodi McKay yes­ter­day threw their sup­port be­hind Ms Raper.

Mr Da­ley said Ms Raper “did the right thing” in com­ing for­ward even though Mr Fo­ley had re­peat­edly and strongly de­nied the claims.

“She’s a cred­i­ble per­son and I be­lieve her,” he said. “Ash­leigh Raper did not de­serve to be treated that way.”

Last night, Mr Fo­ley wrote to his party’s gen­eral sec­re­tary say­ing he would not seek re­elec­tion.

“The party must fo­cus on the elec­tion which is at hand. I do not want to be a dis­trac­tion,” his let­ter reads.

The party is ex­pected to name Mr Da­ley as leader to­day.

The al­le­ga­tions against Mr Fo­ley emerged af­ter Mr El­liott raised the mat­ter un­der par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege in Oc­to­ber.

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