Former Robertson MP Belinda Neal, who once told a fellow parliamentarian her baby would turn into a demon, has been expelled from the Labor party over alleged branch stacking.
New South Wales Labor’s Internal Appeals Tribunal this morning recommended Ms Neal be expelled for unworthy conduct, after examining allegations she had engaged in branch stacking while trying to win pre-selection for the of state seat of Gosford earlier this year.
NSW Labor General Secretary Kaila Murnain later tweeted the outcome.
The Party Officers today adopted the decision of the Internal Appeals Tribunal & resolved that Belinda Neal be expelled from NSW Labor.
— Kaila Murnain (@kailamurnain) July 23, 2017
￼Ms Neal has previously denied she engaged in branch stacking in the race for preselection in Gosford, before a rank and file ballot was scrapped in favour of parachuting in handpicked candidate Paralympic champion Liesl Tesch.
At the time, Ms Neal lashed out at the decision and accused the party’s head office of undemocratic meddling.
This morning, she told the ABC she would be appealing the tribunal’s decision.
She said the hearing had taken place without her input, despite her providing a medical certificate.
A colourful career
Ms Neal, who is married to former NSW minister John Della Bosca, was disendorsed as Labor’s member for Robertson after a colourful political career.
In 2008, she gained notoriety over the “Iguana-gate” scandal, in which she was allegedly involved in an altercation with a staff member at a Central Coast bar.
Just months later she made headlines again for being caught on tape in Parliament telling federal Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella her unborn child would turn into a “demon” if she thought “evil thoughts”.
She later told Australian Story the comment had been a lapse of judgement.
“Of course I don’t want a curse on Sophie Mirabella’s child. I said something in a flippant way,” Ms Neal said.
“I regretted what happened and it probably showed some lack of judgement. I accept that.”
In the same interview Ms Neal also dismissed claims she put photographs or the names of her enemies into the freezer.
“A few years ago a work colleague of mine suggested that one of the ways of getting someone out of your system that was causing you aggravation was to chop up their name and put it in the freezer,” Ms Neal said.
“It was just one of those silly jokes that people have and somehow it’s become circulated as something serious.”