Newly elected NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has vowed to put an end to mudslinging in Parliament on his first full day in the new job.
“I’ve said to [Premier] Gladys Berejiklian very clearly ‘when I lead my team onto the floor of the New South Wales Parliament next Tuesday, we will be throwing no mud’,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“I’m sick, I didn’t get into politics to do that.
“I’ve sent the challenge to Gladys Berejiklian. We will concentrate on policy and we won’t be throwing mud.”
Mr Daley’s comments follow the resignation of former Labor leader Luke Foley just hours after an ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper released a statement alleging Mr Foley put his hands down her underwear at a 2016 Christmas party.
Mr Foley has denied the claims since they were first aired under parliamentary privilege — against the wishes of Ms Raper — by Liberal MP David Elliott last month.
ABC Journalist Ashleigh Raper released a statement about a Christmas party incident involving Luke Foley. (ABC News)
Mr Daley said Ms Berejiklian needed to answer how the allegations made their way onto the floor of Parliament.
“Either she and her office knew and agreed to that parliamentary tactic or she didn’t know and she can’t control her ministers,” he said.
“Both are unacceptable.”
Mr Daley said he did not think Mr Elliott’s apology to Ms Raper was genuine.
“He knew what he was doing.
“He is a craven character, a hard nut, and I think he has dragged the whole parliamentary system into disrepute.
“The people of New South Wales don’t elect their politicians to have them behave like buffoons in Parliament and pretend they’re playing football.
“It is not a sport, it is serious business.”
Mr Daley admitted he did not have a completely clean record in Parliament, after he was accused in 2012 of being drunk in the chamber.
“I learnt a very good lesson that night … the only way to protect yourself from allegations that you had had a few drinks when you walked into the Parliament was to have none,” he said.
“Since that day six years ago, if Parliament is sitting, I’m a teetotaller.”