Minns, Daley to contest leadership again

·3-min read

NSW Labor leadership contender Chris Minns is promising there will be no recriminations against his opponent's camp should he win the top job.

Kogarah MP Mr Minns is facing off against former party head Michael Daley in a battle for the role of state opposition leader.

The role was left vacant on Friday when Jodi McKay quit, alleging she was "destabilised" from within.

"Of course I promise no recriminations," Mr Minns told Sky News on Tuesday. But he stopped short of promising Mr Daley a spot on the frontbench, saying it would be presumptuous.

Mr Minns said he was "keen to give peace a chance" in his conversations with Mr Daley.

But he said he could not tell his challenger to withdraw his nomination to avoid a damaging election contest.

"He's got every right to put his hand up, as do I," Mr Minns said.

The looming battle has been framed as a contest between young and old.

Mr Daley on Sunday confirmed he'd ask for a second chance at being leader, while Mr Minns on Monday said he would bid for the job for the third time in as many years.

Unless one steps aside, the men's ambitions will force the party to hold a lengthy and potentially bruising ballot. Labor party rules require the caucus and the rank-and-file members to vote if more than one person contends.

Mr Daley and Mr Minns have competed for the role before, in November 2018, when Mr Daley became party leader for a short-lived four months.

Mr Minns on Monday said he's confident this time will be different.

The 41-year-old MP said on Tuesday the opposition had a long road ahead of it to topple the popular Berejiklian government in 2023.

He's focusing on putting forward "positive solutions" for NSW, rather than just attacking the government.

Labor "doesn't have to oppose everything the government does," he said.

Mr Minns is arguing the leadership needs a complete reset, saying it's time for fresh ideas and generational change.

Mr Daley, 55, served as a minister when the party was last in government. Ms McKay is also a former government minister.

"I'm not a member of the previous Labor government, but I will put to my colleagues that that's a good thing," Mr Minns told reporters.

"We're in our 10th year of opposition and something has to change - that change should be generational."

But in reality, both men face significant stumbling blocks on their path to the leadership.

Mr Minns is tarnished by accusations from other party figures that he orchestrated Ms McKay's downfall.

On the other hand, Mr Daley's nomination has drawn the ire of Asian-Australian party members and officials, with a group crafting a joint statement opposing his candidacy over racist comments he made in 2019.

Mr Daley was filmed speaking about people from Asia with PhDs taking jobs from young Australians.

He apologised again on Monday, saying it was a "stupid" "throw-away line" and he didn't mean it.