Federal MP launches defamation proceedings, arguing her career has been ruined

 abc.net.au  12/6/2018 5:13:15 AM   political reporter Matthew Doran

Updated December 06, 2018 16:33:32

Embattled Labor MP Emma Husar has launched defamation proceedings against Buzzfeed, claiming reporting of false allegations of misconduct and harassment has ruined her career.

Key points:

  • Emma Husar is taking legal action against Buzzfeed and journalist Alice Workman
  • She claims the reporting of false allegations of misconduct and harassment have ruined her career
  • Having initially planned to retire from politics, she is considering legal action to force Labor to keep her as its candidate

Ms Husar has vowed to fight for her position as Labor's candidate for the marginal western Sydney electorate of Lindsay, despite announcing in August she would not contest the next election.

An internal party investigation by high-profile barrister John Whelan was launched after former staff made allegations of harassment and misconduct.

That investigation did not uphold any of the claims, and found she had no reason to resign.

In the following months, Ms Husar suggested she had been forced to announce her resignation, and declared she was ready to fight.

"During the last six months, I've had to bite my tongue and not defend myself publicly whilst being misrepresented," Ms Husar told the House after Question Time under parliamentary privilege.

"I will not wait around for someone else to wait around and show leadership.

"Sunlight is always the best disinfectant and, today, I bathe those misrepresentations in a flood of light."

Ms Husar has launched defamation proceedings in the Federal Court against Buzzfeed, and the reporter of the original story Alice Workman.

She claims she was not given an appropriate amount of time to respond to the allegations the organisation put to her, before it published the story and it was promoted on social media.

The New South Wales Labor party will formally begin the process of selecting a candidate for the electorate of Lindsay in the coming days.

It is understood Ms Husar is prepared to fight for her position, to the extent of launching further court action if required.

She has not ruled out running as an independent.

The New South Wales Labor party has picked former state MP Diane Beamer as its preferred candidate.

Ms Husar was one of Labor's stars of the 2016 campaign, snatching the western Sydney electorate of Lindsay from the Liberal party, now holding the seat by 1.1 per cent.

Topics: government-and-politics, bill-shorten, alp, australia

First posted December 06, 2018 16:13:15

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