Da­ley likely to try to res­ur­rect La­bor in NSW

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - ANNA CALD­WELL

NSW LA­BOR will elect a new leader to­day with Luke Fo­ley’s deputy Michael Da­ley to pitch him­self as a man of the peo­ple as he tries 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 dis­graced Mr Fo­ley of putting his hand in­side the back of her un­der­pants at a 2016 Christ­mas party. Mr Fo­ley stren­u­ously de­nies the claims.

And the party is in cri­sis talks over how to move on from the scan­dal just five months out from the state elec­tion. La­bor fears it is now at se­ri­ous risk of los­ing Mr Fo­ley’s seat of Auburn.

Mr Fo­ley went to ground yes­ter­day, 24 hours af­ter pledg­ing he would sue for defama­tion and declar­ing the allegations were false.

Mr Da­ley will face off against Op­po­si­tion wa­ter spokesman Chris Minns in a show­down for the lead­er­ship at 2pm to­day.

Last night, key fig­ures from the dom­i­nant right fac­tion – and a good por­tion of La­bor’s left fac­tion – were locked in be­hind Mr Da­ley, who is the strong favourite to win the bal­lot. How­ever, Mr Minns’ sup­port­ers con­tin­ued to work the phones.

Penny Sharpe is ex­pected to be the sole can­di­date for deputy. Mr Da­ley said he be­lieved he would be a new type of La­bor leader “of and from the fam­i­lies in the sub­urbs”.

Michael Da­ley.

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