NSW La­bor rips into ex-leader

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

SE­NIOR NSW La­bor MPs are aban­don­ing Luke Fo­ley and sid­ing with the jour­nal­ist who claims he groped her, with sev­eral ques­tion­ing the for­mer state party leader’s planned le­gal ac­tion.

While Mr Fo­ley was hop­ing to sit on the back­bench af­ter his res­ig­na­tion, it is un­der­stood La­bor’s can­di­date re­view com­mit­tee agreed yes­ter­day to con­sider dis­endors­ing him.

His likely re­place­ment as La­bor leader, Michael Da­ley, said he did not want Mr Fo­ley in the party.

“He has the right to stay in the par­lia­ment un­til March. Whether he stays there as a La­bor Party mem­ber or not is a dif­fer­ent mat­ter,” Mr Da­ley told Sky News.

“Frankly if I’m the leader of the La­bor Party, I don’t want him sit­ting in our ranks.”

He and high-rank­ing fe­male MP Jodi McKay yes­ter­day threw their sup­port be­hind ABC re­porter Ashleigh Raper, who al­leges Mr Fo­ley put his hand down her un­der­wear at a party in 2016.

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

He be­lieves noth­ing good will come of Mr Fo­ley re­main­ing in par­lia­ment.

“It will be dam­ag­ing for ev­ery­one, par­tic­u­larly for Ashleigh Raper,” he said. “I think Luke should care­fully re­con­sider whether he wants to take those le­gal pro­ceed­ings or not.”

Mr Da­ley will be chal­lenged for the lead­er­ship by Chris Minns, who also sup­ported Ms Raper and said Mr Fo­ley should leave par­lia­ment al­to­gether.

Ms McKay was sur­prised about Mr Fo­ley’s plan to sue.

“Do I think that is the right de­ci­sion? No,” she said on the Cen­tral Coast.

“This just pro­longs what Ashleigh has gone through.”

Po­lice have told ABC man­age­ment they will in­ves­ti­gate should Ms Raper make a com­plaint.

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