Liberal MP Moira Deeming Survives Vote To Expel Her Over Anti-Trans Rally, Suspended For Nine Months

Liberal MP Moira Deeming Survives Vote To Expel Her Over Anti-Trans Rally, Suspended For Nine Months
Image: Victorian Liberal MP Moira Deeming at the Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne on March 27, 2023. (AAP Image/Diego Fedele)

Victoria Liberal MP Moira Deeming managed to save herself from getting expelled from the Parliamentary party on Monday.

Opposition leader John Pesutto had said he would move to expel Deeming over her participation in an anti-trans rally in Melbourne by Kellie-Jay Keen that was attended by neo-Nazis

The Guardian reported that Pesutto’s motion did not go for a vote. Instead, at the end of a two-hour meeting on Monday morning, the party decided to suspend Deeming for nine months.

The controversial rally on March 18, 2023, was organised by British anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen, also known by her online handle Posie Parker.

Deeming had driven Keen to Parliament, and also spoken at the rally. There was a public outcry after Neo-Nazi members of the National Socialist Network attended the rally, clashed with transgender rights activists and gave the Nazi salute on the steps outside Victorian Parliament.

This was Liberal leader Pesutto’s first big test after he took over the leadership of the party from Matt Guy following the loss in the state elections in November 2022. Advocacy organisations said Pesutto failed to show Victorians that the party would stand up for the LGBTQI community.

“John Pesutto had the opportunity to show that he leads a modern Liberal Party that will stand up for all Victorians. We’re disappointed that more decisive action was not taken, but commend the party members who tried to draw a line in the sand,”  Austin Fabry-Jenkins, Co-Convenor of the Victorian Pride Lobby said in a statement.

Liberal Leader Pesutto Fails To Get Deeming Expelled

Liberal MP Moira Deeming (right) with Victorian Opposition leader John Pesutto. Image: Facebook

Pesutto had said that Deeming’s position was “untenable”.

“What Moira Deeming’s actions both before, during and after the rally demonstrate is that she’s had an association with people who organised the rally, along with her assistance, who have shared platforms with and viewpoints with people who promote Nazi views or sympathies. That’s the first thing,” Pesutto told media persons last week.

“Secondly, Deeming stayed at the rally when the Nazis arrived. Thirdly, having seen the ugly scenes and having had an opportunity to disown and dissociate from those very people, Deeming chose to celebrate, as evidenced on social media,” the Opposition leader added.

Deeming, who is known for her anti-trans views, had said she had done nothing wrong and blamed Victoria Police and Premier Dan Andrews over the presence of Neo-Nazis at the rally.

New Information Received: Pesutto

After the “very emotional” party meeting, Pesutto, who had said there would be no “compromise”on the issue, denied that there had been a backflip.

Pesutto who addressed media persons following the meeting said that Deeming had provided new information on Monday morning, which led him to suggest suspension instead of expulsion.

“That new information contained important concessions. And those concessions were in the form of a condemnation of the type of conduct referred to in the dossier,” said Pesutto.

“The new material she supplied this morning opened the doorway to a sensible proposal that I put to the party room that saw her accept the nine months (suspension), losing the party whip position as well… Given Moira had provided what I had been seeking and recognised why it was important to do that.”.

“The conduct that I wanted condemned, has been condemned,” added Pesutto.

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