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AustraliaLuke Foley's reluctant rise and swift demise as NSW Labor leader explained

12:06  08 november  2018
12:06  08 november  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley resigns but denies explosive harassment allegations

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley resigns but denies explosive harassment allegations The resignation comes hours after the ABC journalist at the centre of harassment allegations released an explosive statement detailing the incident.

Many voters had never heard of Luke Foley when he became NSW Labor leader just three months before the 2015 state election. They know his name now, for all the wrong reasons.

Timeless Labor values. Luke Foley and Labor believe in a fair go for all; a decent life for everyone; and a helping hand to those in need. NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today gave his firm backing to thousands of club workers in their fight against penalty rate cuts as final hearings by the.

Many voters had never heard of Luke Foley when he became NSW Labor leader just three months before the 2015 State Election.

His immediate task was immense — facing off against then-Premier Mike Baird who was at the height of his popularity.

Labor had been reduced to only 20seats after an electoral wipeout in 2011, but after the 2015 vote the party slowly became competitive again under Mr Foley's leadership.

Talk in the halls of Parliament House had, recently, turned to the possibility of Labor winning government when people in NSW head to the polls in March next year.

'He's finished': The Labor MPs who could replace Foley

'He's finished': The Labor MPs who could replace Foley As pressure mounts on Luke Foley to resign, Labor planning spokesman Michael Daley is the frontrunner to become the next Opposition leader.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has quit as Labor leader less than five months from the state election , vowing to take legal action after he claimed But Mr Foley then called her on Tuesday, she said . During the call, he repeated his apology but said he would not be resigning as Opposition.

The NSW Opposition Leader tells a news conference he could not contest the upcoming election while fighting false claims made by an ABC reporter, who says he put his hand inside her underpants at a Christmas party.

But the events of the past three weeks have sent shockwaves through the party, leaving it in need of a new leader and trying to regroup just five months out from the election.

In recent months, Mr Foley made several stumbles prompting some Labor MPs to privately question his judgement.

In May, Mr Foley was accused of dog-whistle politics after using the term "white flight" in an interview to describe what he saw as an exodus of Anglo-Saxons from certain Sydney suburbs.

He subsequently apologised.

"I won't use the term again, some people find it offensive," he said.

Luke Foley's reluctant rise and swift demise as NSW Labor leader explained© Provided by ABC News Luke Foley landed several telling blows against NSW's Baird, and Berejiklian governments.

More recently, colleagues also questioned if Mr Foley missed an opportunity by not opposing the Government's controversial decision to promote the Everest horse race on the Opera House sails.

Comment: After four years as Opposition Leader, Foley finally finds a policy - and loses the job

Comment: After four years as Opposition Leader, Foley finally finds a policy - and loses the job Luke Foley finally emerged with his own transport policy on Thursday – and held on to it for less than a day. Foley’s announcement on Thursday morning that a prospective Labor government would prioritise public transport over tolled motorways was, in his own words, an attempt to "set the stage for a contest of ideas and policies as we head towards the election". As such, the announcement marked a break from Foley’s previous posture in the role.

Deputy leader most likely to lead Labor to NSW election after inappropriate touching allegations against Foley .

Journalist Ashleigh Raper issues a statement saying NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley put his hand down her dress at a Christmas party.

Mr Foley also notched up notable successes, with Labor sparking painful Government backflips.

After Gladys Berejiklian took over as Liberal leader last year, Mr Foley attacked her Government's plans to rebuild two Sydney stadiums, using the slogan "schools and hospitals before stadiums".

Ms Berejiklian later amended the plans, reducing the size and cost of the redevelopments.

Mr Foley landed his biggest blow through his relentless opposition to the Government's greyhound racing ban.

The Government's blueprint was announced in July 2015, but just 15 months later Mr Baird abandoned the policy.

Mr Baird was wounded and, three months after winding the policy back, the Liberal leader resigned.

The greyhounds policy was also seen as a key factor in the Government losing the Orange by-election to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in November 2016.

The Nationals suffered a swing of more than 21 per cent against them in the seat, which prompted their leader, NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant, to resign.

Foley's resignation could cost Labor: MPs

Foley's resignation could cost Labor: MPs Many within NSW Labor believe it is up to deputy leader Michael Daley to take the reins and lead Labor to the March election following Luke Foley's resignation.

‘I'm just just like you’: New NSW Labor leader Michael Daley makes his pitch to voters https Michael Daley elected NSW Labor Party leader , promising to 'press the reset button' https The reluctant rise , and swift demise of a Labor leader https

Police confirm they have spoken with ABC management about the allegations though no complaint has been made.

Reluctant start, fiery fall

Mr Foley once said he had been raised by his single mother with a triple faith: "The Labor party, the Catholic Church and the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Football Club."

By the time he became leader in January 2015 he had already gained a reputation in Labor circles as a potent political weapon.

He worked his way through the ranks at Labor's Sussex Street HQ as a heavy hitter of the party's left faction, before taking a seat in the Upper House.

When his predecessor John Robertson resigned in December 2014 after revelations he had provided electoral help to Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis, Mr Foley at first had to be persuaded to run.

Ultimately, the father-of-three was elected unopposed.

His new position required a move to the Lower House, so he stood successfully for the seat of Auburn.

However, campaigning was not always a natural fit.

Mr Foley fought the 2015 election as the underdog, drawing his political battle lines around Mr Baird's power privatisation plan.

He fell well short of victory, but the swings to his party made Labor competitive again.

Foley claims 'can't be tolerated': Shorten

Foley claims 'can't be tolerated': Shorten Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten says the alleged behaviour of former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley 'cannot be tolerated'. The alleged behaviour of former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley "cannot be tolerated", federal Labor leader Bill Shorten says. Mr Foley resigned on Thursday evening after ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper revealed details of a November 2016 incident in which the state opposition leader allegedly put his hand down her underpants. The former leader denies the allegations and has threatened defamation proceedings against Ms Raper.

Foley said the accusations made against him were "false" and he had hired solicitors and a senior counsel and planned to take legal action in the Federal NSW is five months out from the next state election. An emergency cabinet meeting will be held as early as Friday to elect a new Labor leader .

Luke Foley ’ s political career looks certain to end after the ABC journalist at the centre of harassment allegations released an explosive statement detailing the ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper (inset) has released an explosive statement containing allegations against NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley .

By the time the Liberals lost this year's Wagga by-election on September 8 to independent Joe McGirr after a mammoth swing against them, talk about Mr Foley sweeping to power became more serious.

But less than nineweeks later, that came crashing down.

When Corrections Minister David Elliot last month used parliamentary privilege to air allegations Mr Foley had drunkenly harassed an ABC journalist, the Opposition Leader came out swinging.

"Mr Elliot should come out of the coward's castle, walk 10 metres outside and if he said that again I'd sue him," Mr Foley said.

He vehemently denied — and continues to deny — the allegations and said: "There has never been a complaint".

But the issue did not go away.

Federal Liberal MP Eric Abetz used a Senate estimates hearing to put the allegations against Mr Foley back in the spotlight.

When NSW Government ministers used Question Time to call on him step aside, Mr Foley reacted furiously, threatening to use parliamentary privilege to unleash on the private lives of Coalition MPs.

Labor MPs said they were not willing to roll a leader on the basis of allegations aired under privilege, with one telling the ABC: "We are not about to ditch a leader with very good reason."

Another, however, was more blunt.

"He's a dead duck if these headlines continue," they said, while another described the last day's of Mr Foley's leadership as "a waiting game".

That waiting game is now over, and Labor again has to regroup under a new leader just four months from a state election.

Michael Daley elected NSW Labor Party leader over Chris Minns.
Maroubra MP Michael Daley has secured the leadership of the NSW Labor Party.

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