nsw greens infighting flares again

NSW Greens infighting flares again


Another NSW Greens MP has hit out at Jenny Leong for using parliamentary privilege to air a sexual harassment claim against a colleague, labelling it an “orchestrated political hit”.

Ms Leong, the Greens member for Newtown, in a speech to parliament on Tuesday called for fellow party member Jeremy Buckingham to resign over “sexual violence” allegations.

The alleged conduct in 2011 was investigated and Mr Buckingham has said it found there was not enough evidence to conclude there had been sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour.

Ms Leong’s move to raise the matter has drawn criticism from several from within her party.

Upper house Greens MP Justin Field joined them on Thursday, accusing Ms Leong of using “hearsay and innuendo to convict”.

“The statement from Jenny Leong was an orchestrated political hit,” Mr Field said in a statement.

“Jenny’s statement was first and foremost an opportunistic effort to destroy and a continuation of a relentless effort by some in the Greens to use this complaint to force Jeremy out of the party.”

Ms Leong has sought to distance her parliamentary allegation from one levelled at former Labor leader Luke Foley by Liberal minister David Elliott.

Mr Elliott used parliamentary privilege to accuse Mr Foley of harassing an ABC journalist, sparking the scandal that led to the former opposition leader’s resignation last week.

Ms Leong said she had the consent of the alleged victim who had made the complaint against Mr Buckingham – something Mr Elliott did not.

But Mr Field said the level of coordination behind her address to the lower house, which was timed with a media release, proved the move was calculated.

“At the Greens’ party room just hours before her statement, Jenny threatened to use parliamentary privilege to call for Jeremy’s resignation and to allege other unspecified allegations if he did not resign,” Mr Field said.

“It was not designed to improve the party’s processes or ensure a safe space for women or others.”

Ms Leong has been contacted for comment.