Bill Shorten has called time on the political career of Western Sydney MP Emma Husar as the Labor Party braces itself for the findings of an independent audit of her work expenses.
The ALP opened the preselection process for the seat of Lindsay on Friday, despite Ms Husar’s threats to legally challenge any suggestion she is not the preselected candidate.
“I will challenge the validity of the opening of preselection given I am the endorsed candidate,” she told The New Daily after Mr Shorten indicated she should not contest the election.
Meanwhile, senior Labor figures remain concerned that a comprehensive audit by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) will reignite the controversy surrounding the MP.
Ms Husar self-referred to the IPEA in August, following revelations she attended a Bruno Mars concert with a senior NSW police officer in Brisbane while on a work trip.
But the investigation probed her entire expenditure at the Labor MP’s own request.
Ms Husar told The New Daily she remained confident that she had not misused her expenses.
“I self-referred every single claim I have made. I asked them to investigate every single cent I have used in work expenses,” she said.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said the ALP had accepted Ms Husar’s resignation.
“Well, I said at the time, when Emma wrote and said she wasn’t going to contest the election, I felt that was the right decision then and for the party and I haven’t changed my mind,” Mr Shorten said.
Asked if he was prepared to support her candidacy after she reversed that decision and hoped to contest the seat again, Mr Shorten said he accepted her resignation and still believe it was the best decision for her and her family.
“I understand that but I haven’t changed my mind,” he said.
The ALP will start preselections for her Western Sydney seat of Lindsay on Friday, with a former state MP Diane Beamer regarded as the frontrunner.
Mr Shorten declined to speculate on whether Ms Husar may split with the Labor Party and sit as an independent.
“No, I’m not about to start judging Emma at all. I think she said she was launching some legal proceedings.
“I said at the time when she said she was the subject of some attacks I wasn’t going to participate in media controversy and I’m going to stick with that rule,” he said.
Ms Husar has also flagged legal action against Buzzfeed and journalist Alice Workman over the publication of confidential complaints against her.
Manager of Government business Tony Burke criticised the decision of Buzzfeed not to seek Ms Husar’s comment before publication of an article that revealed a confidential complaints process included an allegation Ms Husar had exposed herself to a fellow MP.
But Ms Husar and the MP deny the incidenet ever occurred.
“There is no doubt that in at least one of those allegations certainly the most salacious allegation against Emma Husar it was demonstrably untrue, and it was published one minute before she was asked for comment,” Mr Burke said.
“And that is a terrible way for any organisation to pretend to be informing the public.”