‘Untenable’: Controversial MP kicked out
Embattled Victorian MP Moira Deeming has been expelled from the parliamentary party room.
The sensational move follows a vote on Friday morning after Ms Deeming’s controversial appearance at an anti-transgender rally on the steps of parliament in March.
Liberal leader John Pesutto had pushed for the West Metropolitan MP to be expelled for bringing the party into “disrepute” by her actions.
“This is not a decision any political party will take lightly, it is not the first time a political party has one that will not be last I assume,” Mr Pesutto said following the vote on Friday.
“I certainly want this to be the last time we invoke our disciplinary procedures under the parliamentary party constitution.
“We appreciate that Moira was elected but we also have responsibility to the broader Victorian people including people of Western Metropolitan region and to be inclusive and welcome party that can accommodate conservative and more progressive viewpoints but do in a way we were contributing to the team and being part the team.”
The controversy erupted after Ms Deeming’s controversial attendance at a Let Women Speak rally alongside Kellie-Jay Keen, a British far-right figure and anti-transgender activist.
The same rally was attended by neo-Nazis who performed salutes and clashed with transgender activist groups protesting Ms Keen’s appearance.
In a statement, Mr Pesutto described Ms Deeming’s position as “untenable” for “promoting and participating in a rally with speakers and other organisers” who were associated with “far right-wing extremist groups”.
— Moira Deeming MP (@MoiraDeemingMP) May 6, 2023
A vote to expel her in March was not successful – she was instead suspended from sitting in parliament for nine months.
While Ms Deeming has since accepted her attendance was an “error of judgment”, she denied any wrongdoing in a statement posted from her Twitter account on March 20.
She has also threatened to sue Mr Pesutto over “false allegations” despite tweeting a statement last week that said she had “never once” considered suing the Liberal Party.
Mr Pesutto told reporters on Friday that he had engaged his own lawyers.
“Nobody wants to be dealing with these issues and they would far prefer to be able to focus entirely on the Andrews government which I intend do with my colleagues from this day forward,” Mr Pesutto said.
Mr Pesutto was elected opposition leader in December 2022.
He said the party would now work to be more united following a difficult few weeks.
“Unity is a constant project and as leader I am working to continue to build that discipline unity and focus,” Mr Pesutto said.
“You all know, having seen me operate in the short time I have been leader, that I’m working every day to reform the party to make it the viable alternative it needs to be for the sake of our state.
“That work was moved along today in a significant way, but there is so much more work to do today.
“I’m conscious of that and believe my colleagues share that view that we must continue to work hard to be that strong opposition.”