Liberal MP Moira Deeming has served Victorian Liberal Leader John Pesutto a defamation notice just one day before the party is due to vote on a second motion to have her expelled.
According to The Australian, the notice warns that if Pesutto does not seek the withdrawal of the expulsion motion, issue an apology, and pay compensation and legal costs within 28 days, Deeming may commence federal court proceedings.
The notice, which was reportedly delivered by renowned defamation lawyer Patrick George, alleges that Pesutto falsely labelled Deeming a “Nazi sympathiser” to justify his failed attempt to have her expelled from the Liberal Party in March.
Deeming was instead slapped with a nine-month suspension which she said she agreed to on the basis that Pesutto would make a statement to “exonerate” her from “false allegations” regarding the “Let Women Speak” rally’s association with Nazis.
After no statement of exoneration was issued, Deeming sent an email to Pesutto advising the party leader that she was speaking to lawyers in an effort to have her name cleared.
“Given that the leadership did not make the statement of exoneration, or confirm my return, and that no mediation or even any minutes exist to settle this dispute, I have advised my lawyers to prepare a legal challenge over my suspension, because I believe we need to come together as colleagues and have a do-over meeting.”
Rather than honouring the alleged terms of their agreement, Pesutto announced a second attempt to have Deeming expelled from the party for “bringing discredit” on the parliamentary team.
And lest anyone’s forgotten how this all began: A group of women legally gathered to speak about women’s rights in Australia. That gathering was crashed by a group of males. Politicians and the media are now refusing to listen to that group of women. Instead, they’re insisting that the group of males represent and speak for those women.
And to make matters worse, the women are now being held responsible for the actions of the men.
Let Women Speak, indeed!
In sum, if you want to shut down and silence your opponent in Australia, all you have to do is attend their rally and raise the Nazi salute. That’s apparently all it takes to have your political opposition expelled.