Labor is taking it one Daley at a time
The ‘dirty’ rumours troubling electorate
LABOR will today elect a new leader, with Luke Foley’s deputy Michael Daley the hot favourite to try to salvage the party.
With NSW Labor in disarray, a raft of high-profile ALP figures — led by Mr Daley — yesterday declared they believed journalist Ashleigh Raper, who has accused Mr Foley of sexually harassing her in 2016.
Mr Foley strenuously denies the claims.
The party is in crisis talks over how to move on from the scandal just five months out from the state election, and Labor fears it is now at serious risk of losing Mr Foley’s seat of Auburn, even after he late last night said he would not stand.
Mr Daley — who is the odds-on favourite to triumph when he faces off against opposition water spokesman Chris Minns in a leadership showdown today — admitted the events surrounding Mr Foley had contributed to a “deep cynicism” about all politicians.
“We need to rise above this, on both sides of parliament, reset and show stability,” Mr Daley said. “We need to clean up. There is no place for muck in the parliament.”
THE Labor stronghold of Auburn could come unstuck, with some lifelong ALP supporters saying they could abandon the party in the wake of the allegations levelled at Luke Foley.
The Saturday Telegraph spoke to voters in the workingclass seat, held by the ALP on a margin of 5.9 per cent, with some saying they could not support Mr Foley.
The former Labor chief, who strongly denies the harassment allegations, yesterday said he would not contest the next election — welcome news for ALP supporters in the area.
Former Young Labor member Sal Abeer, 24, joined Mr Foley at a rally as recently as last month and supported him on the campaign trail during the 2016 federal election.
“The whole thing just feels a bit dirty,” Mr Abeer said.
“It’s quite concerning here as well because there’s a lot of religions and I’m sure none of them approve of sexual (harassment) against women. For him to represent an area like this, it doesn’t make much sense to me.”
Islam is the biggest religion in Auburn, accounting for 27 per cent of the population, according to Census data. And founder of the Islamic Friendship Association Keysar Trad said the allegations would be deeply troubling to Muslims. “It’s very likely it will be extremely damaging to the standing of the party,” he said.
While Auburn has always been in Labor hands, it’s believed Liberals will now start circling as they taste blood in the water.
Auburn supermarket manager Faiz Kandy, 37, has been a staunch Labor supporter but said he would not vote for Mr Foley if he was expelled from the party and tried to run again for the seat at a later date.
“If he is kicked out from the party, of course he should leave from this place also,” Mr Kandy said.