There are big lessons to be learnt from the Luke Foley matter. Once the details were revealed a number of Labor MPs quickly went public with their support for the woman involved. They spelt out how unimpressed they are with Luke Foley’s statements and criticised his defamation threat. Both Michael Daley and Bill Shorten have taken a firm stand.
A very similar allegation of indecent assault has been made by a former staffer against the Greens upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham. Jeremy Buckingham has threatened defamation proceedings against some of those who have discussed the matter. He has also made public statements that produced media coverage that suggested the former staffer complained for political reasons and that the complaint was false.
When a confidential and independent investigation delivered its findings, Jeremy Buckingham made a public statement falsely claiming he’d been cleared.
Jeremy Buckingham is a Greens candidate in the 2019 state election.
The two alleged incidents are similar but the responses of the Greens and Labor have taken different directions. Luke Foley is no longer leader and will not be contesting the state election in March 2019. My view is that MPs and candidates facing such allegations should stand aside from their positions or be stood aside by their parties.
Similarly action should be taken if the response by the accused to an allegation by a woman of sexual misconduct is to attack the woman and her supporters.
Jeremy Buckingham is resisting calls from within the party to stand aside. Greens members, local groups, office bearers and MPs have a lot to reflect on.