Liberal leader suddenly changes his case in 15-page dossier to dump MP

Embattled opposition leader John Pesutto has doubled down on a bid to expel MP Moira Deeming but failed to address how he got the facts wrong with false Wikipedia claims.

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Victorian opposition leader John Pesutto has omitted false Wikipedia claims from a dossier written to all MPs accusing Moira Deeming of engaging in activities that could bring discredit to the parliament or the Parliamentary Party.

The Liberal state leader had previously used the claims in public interviews referring to protest organiser Kellie-Jay Keen, saying that she had a history of association with extremist groups and had conducted video interviews notorious white supremacists which he named publicly.

Pesutto used Keen's association with Deeming at the weekend's Let Women Speak protest as grounds for expulsion, saying there was "strong links" to far-right extremists.

Pesutto has now provided a 15-page dossier of evidence to back his case, which includes Deeming's attendance at a women's rights rally, where she spoke to the crowd.

The rally was met with protests from trans rights and socialist activists, and a group of neo-Nazis dressed in black hijacked the event by performing the Nazi salute on the steps of the Victorian parliament. However, Deeming insisted she did nothing wrong by attending the rally and that she was horrified to see the masked men dressed in black clothing, fearing she would be attacked.

Despite this, Pesutto claims Deeming has links to far-right extremists, and he has struggled to justify plans to expel her from the party.

The false Wikipedia claims alleged that protest organiser Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker online, had a history of association with extremist groups and had conducted video interviews with Richard Spencer, a prominent figure in the American alt-right movement, and had shared a platform with David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Although Pesutto has included a dossier of evidence to back his case, he did not include the false Wikipedia claims or address his mistake in falsely naming known neo-Nazis as associates of Keen in public interviews.

The party will vote on the move to expel her at 10am on Monday.

In response to the calls for her expulsion, Deeming said the move marked an "inflection point" for the Liberal Party in Victoria. She questioned whether the party would accept the false premise that anyone who chooses to speak out legally is somehow endorsing anyone who happens to show up at a public event.

She added that she hoped her colleagues would vote down the motion to have her expelled and that she could fight alongside them.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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