Vic Libs to vote on Deeming’s future
The Victorian Liberal Party will on Friday meet to vote on a motion to expel MP Moira Deeming from the parliamentary party.
The move comes despite Ms Deeming backing down from an earlier threat to pursue legal action against Opposition Leader John Pesutto in a letter sent to MPs on Saturday.
In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, Mr Pesutto said he had “received a notice of motion from five Liberal Party MPs seeking the expulsion of Moira Deeming at a party room meeting that will be held next Friday, 12 May.”
“I remain firmly committed to leading a disciplined, united and inclusive Liberal Party that will continue to take the fight up to the tired, corrupt and incompetent Andrews government,” Mr Pesutto said.
“Our focus is on Victorian families and small businesses who face a horror state budget with higher taxes and cuts to key services and infrastructure projects.”
The motion is signed by front bench MPs James Newbury, Cindy McLeish and Roma Britnell, former leader Matthew Guy, and newly elected MP Wayne Farnham.
“We write to request that a Special Meeting of the Victorian Parliamentary Liberal Party be held on Friday 12 May 2023 and give notice of our intention to move the following motion at that meeting:
‘That the Victorian Parliamentary Liberal Party expels Moira Deeming’.
“The reason for the motion is that Moira Deeming has engaged in conduct in violation of Clause 57, bringing discredit on the Parliamentary Party.”
Ms Deeming was sensationally suspended from siting in parliament for nine months after she attended the Let Women Speak rally that was gatecrashed by neo-Nazis.
She then allegedly sent an email to party leader John Pesutto demanding he “exonerate” her from the “false allegations” or she would take legal action against him.
But after minutes from the party room were published this week by The Australian, Ms Deeming denied she had planned to sue her own party.
“As is now clear from the minutes that have finally been published, the Victorian parliamentary Liberal Party agreed on March 27 that ‘no one was accusing (me) of being a Nazi or a Nazi sympathiser’,” Ms Deeming stated on Saturday.
“I have never once considered suing the Liberal Party and reports that I have, or had planned to do so, are false.
“It is important to clarify here that I only contemplated legal assistance (e.g. mediation) as a way of helping me negotiate to settle the conditions of my suspension and to see what was agreed in the party room in March honoured.
“To date, others acting on my behalf, have been working with Liberal leadership team to help resolve this issue, but to no avail.
“Moreover, when I was told on Thursday night that the Leadership team had rejected my request for a legally mediated re-do of the meeting to properly settle the conditions of my suspension, I immediately advised the Victorian Liberal Party President, Mr Greg Mirabella, that I would pursue it no further.”
Ms Deeming, who represents the Western Metropolitan Region, said the past six weeks had “taken a terrible toll” on her.
“I have had to publicly disclose childhood sexual abuse and endure constant media attacks while remaining silent,” she said.
“At all times I have tried to work through internal processes to resolve these issues and declined to air public criticism of the Liberal Party.”
Ms Deeming said she was still waiting for an official apology from Mr Pesutto.
The opposition leader had tried to expel Ms Deeming following her appearance at the rally in March.
“And even though Liberal leader, John Pesutto MP never made the joint statement that the meeting agreed he should, he did say publicly on Thursday that ‘nothing in the dossier ever accused (me) of being a Nazi or herself having Nazi sympathisers’,” Ms Deeming said.
“All I ever wanted, since the leader’s failed attempt to have me expelled for allegedly bringing the party into disrepute, was to have my name cleared.
“Thankfully, it is now clear from the published minutes that the original expulsion motion was never formally put to the party room.
“I consider this fact vital, because it proves that my suspension is unconnected to the expulsion allegations.
“These minutes afford me the full, official, written, public exoneration that the Leadership seems unwilling to provide.”
Despite her criticism of the party and its leader, Ms Deeming said she’s ready to return to serving the people who elected her to act on their behalf.
“Now, I am moving on,” she said.
“I was elected as a Liberal; I remain a proud Liberal; and I look forward to rejoining the party room at the end of the year.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me through what’s been a very difficult time.”