News National Labor MP Emma Husar will not recontest her seat

Labor MP Emma Husar will not recontest her seat

Ms Hussar giving her maiden speech in 2016. Photo: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Embattled Labor backbencher Emma Husar says she will not recontest the western Sydney seat of Lindsay at the next election.

Ms Husar’s decision, announced on Wednesday afternoon, followed weeks of damning accusations and an ongoing NSW Labor investigation into alleged workplace bullying.

Close to tears, Ms Husar told Nine News that the past three weeks had done irreparable damage to her reputation and she believed she could no longer hold her marginal seat.

“It is an incredibly sad day for me,” she said.

I have just derived immense pleasure from being able to represent my community, but enough is enough.”

The announcement followed allegations aired by Buzzfeed, including that she had exposed herself to fellow Labor MP Jason Clare, claims that Ms Husar last week described on Twitter as “completely untrue, unfair and hurtful beyond belief, 100 per cent false”.

Mr Clare also said the claim was categorically untrue.

“When I heard that in the initial assessment, I threw up,” Ms Husar told Nine. “It doesn’t just allege that I did something wrong to a grownup, but there was a child in the room, and that’s absolutely the lowest part of what’s gone on here.”

It has also been alleged by staffers that Ms Husar diverted campaign funds into a personal bank account, forced staff to walk her dog and had belittled employees.

Senior Labor sources had told the ABC that Ms Husar was losing the support of her colleagues.

Labor holds the marginal seat of Lindsay, in Sydney’s west, by just 1.1 per cent.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ms Husar said it was a sad day for her and her family.

“My family has made massive sacrifices for me, and I’ve given my all, to represent the community of Lindsay, survivors of domestic violence, people who rely on the NDIS and those who need Labor’s progressive policies,” she said.

“I support the right of anyone to have their complaints heard, which is why I co-operated fully with NSW Labor’s independent assessment, and, to uphold the confidentiality of that process, maintained my silence while my reputation was completely trashed in the media.

“I kept quiet in the face of vicious and baseless smears and sensational clickbait headlines with no basis in fact. This vendetta led to threats to my personal safety, the trolling of my children online and media parked outside my house around the clock. It has been terrifying for my kids and utterly traumatic for me.

“Once again, and for the record, I absolutely reject the malicious allegations which have been published to my great detriment.

“Given my reputation has been completely shredded by nameless, faceless people, I see no point in waiting for this report.

“This stops now. Enough is enough. I’ve spoken with Bill Shorten and let him know that I won’t be re-contesting the next election.”

Last week, Ms Husar asked the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority to review her spending, following questions about her attendance at a Bruno Mars concert in Brisbane.

She maintained that no work expenses were used on the concert, but said she had asked the authority to double-check.

Ms Husar has been on personal leave.

Liberal frontbencher Mitch Fifield said the Labor report needs to be made public, after claims Mr Shorten’s office knew about the investigation.

The Labor opposition leader maintains neither he or his staff knew anything of the investigation until journalists contacted his office for comment.

“This has been a very difficult period for Emma and her family. I respect the decision she’s made,” Mr Shorten said.

-with AAP