Time’s up for Foley in fight for seat
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.