Outspoken former Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (pictured) says her party could learn “big lessons” from Labor in the wake of Luke Foley’s resignation.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi agrees.
The Australian reports, Mr Foley stood down as Labor leader on Thursday after ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper alleged the MP drunkenly put his hands in her underwear at a 2016 Christmas party.
The allegation first came to light after NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott made the allegations under parliamentary privilege.
Mr Foley has strenuously denied the allegations and has announced he will take defamation action.
A number of MPs, including state deputy leader Michael Daley and federal Labor Bill Shorten, have condemned Mr Foley and publicly supported Ms Raper’s version of events.
Ms Rhiannon took to Facebook today to contrast how Labor had handled the incident compared to how the Greens had acted when similar allegations of misconduct were made against Greens NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham.
Former Greens staffer Ella Buckland lodged a complaint alleging misconduct allegations against Mr Buckingham over an incident that took place in 2011.
Mr Buckingham denied the allegations and an independent investigation by third party Worksdynamics ruled there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint.
The Australian is not suggesting the allegations against Mr Foley or Mr Buckingham are true, only that they have been made.
Ms Rhiannon said the progressive party could learn from Labor, pointing out how a number of Labor MPs had publicly supported Ms Raper.
“There are big lessons to be learnt from the Luke Foley matter.” she wrote. “Once the details were revealed a number of Labor MPs quickly went public with their support for the woman involved.
“They spelt out how unimpressed they are with Luke Foley’s statements and criticised his defamation threat.”
Ms Rhiannon then drew parallels between Mr Foley and Mr Buckingham’s behaviour.
“A very similar allegation of indecent assault has been made by a former staffer against the Greens upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham. Jeremy Buckingham has threatened defamation proceedings against some of those who have discussed the matter.
“He has also made public statements that produced media coverage that suggested the former staffer complained for political reasons and that the complaint was false.”
The former Senator then said Labor had taken the correct path in calling for the resignation of Mr Foley.
Ms Rhiannon left parliament in August this year after losing preselection to Mehreen Faruqi.
New Senator Faruqi this afternoon joined calls for Mr Buckingham to step down from parliament - something Mr Buckingham refused to do.
Senator Bernardi called out the Greens' shameful hypocrisy after they attempted to hijack debate in the Senate but were immediately voted down by Government and Labor Senators.
Greens leader Richard di Natale subsequently issued this statement regarding Mr Buckingham "This is ultimately a matter for the Greens NSW, but in light of the serious issues raised in NSW MP Jenny Leong's statement today, I believe the most appropriate course of action is for Jeremy Buckingham to stand aside as a candidate for the next election. I have communicated that to Jeremy today on behalf of the federal party room."
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