Liberal Party left faction powerbrokers on the party’s NSW nomination review committee have excluded a pro-life, anti-lockdown candidate from running for preselection in the safe seat of Castle Hill for next year’s state election.
Noel McCoy, a lawyer who describes himself as “unashamedly pro-life” stated that he believes he was dumped due to his criticism of the former Berejiklian government’s “damaging” COVID-19 lockdown measures.
“I have consistently and publicly sought to defend the party’s core values – freedom and liberty – and, in doing so, have at times in the more recent past criticised some aspects of the Berejiklian government’s and the Morrison government’s policy responses to COVID,” McCoy said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
McCoy has also been courageous in his support of the pro-life cause, publicly declaring:
“We should give consideration to policy options that ensure no women feels pressured to have an abortion, has access to compassionate care and genuine options (including life-affirming ones) coupled with practical support.”
The pre-selection fight has been prompted by Liberal party Transport Minister David Elliott’s retirement from NSW politics in October. Mr Elliot is perhaps best known for deciding to take a holiday to Europe during the Black Summer bushfires while serving as Emergency Services Minister.
Elliot quit after realising that McCoy had far greater grassroots support: “It was quite clear there was no support for me in Castle Hill and I accept that,” he said at the time.
“Apparently good faith public policy discussions in defence of core Liberal values are no longer allowed in the Liberal Party,” McCoy told the ABC about his dumping.
Mr McCoy, a former Young Liberal president, has now appealed his exclusion to the party’s state executive and says if necessary he will also appeal to the party’s state council.
This may well be a forlorn hope as State Council elections in August this year allowed Matt Kean’s Left faction to claim 60 per cent of the positions.