Victorian Liberal leader Pesutto tries to save face after failed party room play

John Pesutto, the embattled Victorian Liberal Leader, has criticised MP Moira Deeming for tweeting inconsistent views that do not honour the outcome of Monday’s explosive party room meeting.

Victorian Liberal leader Pesutto tries to save face after failed party room play
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Moira Deeming, the MP who recently attended a women's rights rally alongside Kellie-Jay Keen has again come under fire from Victorian Liberal Leader John Pesutto after a failed bid to expel her from the party room.

In a statement to ABC News Breakfast this morning, Pesutto expressed his disappointment with Deeming's behaviour, saying, "I will be carefully reviewing [Deeming’s tweets] as will all of my party room colleagues – everything Moira says and does from here. There’s a road for Moira to take if she wants to earn her place back in the party room. Now, she’s not off to a good start."

His comments come as Deeming has appeared to contradict Pesutto's claims that she had made important new concessions to help prevent her expulsion.

Deeming, who managed to avoid expulsion from her party after the rally, tweeted shortly after the decision to not condemn Parker and Jones in the meeting. Pesutto said he was not happy with her tweets and suggested that she has nine months to prove herself, or she won't be re-entering the party room.

Despite the criticism, Pesutto has defended his decision to compromise on the move to expel Deeming from the party room. He cited an "emotional" party room meeting, during which he and other MPs heard a "harrowing" personal story from Deeming.

"We had what was fair to describe as a very emotional party room meeting for many members, including a very revealing personal story by Moira that nobody could listen to without being moved in some way," Pesutto said. "When you listen to something so personal and so harrowing, part of leadership is empathy and compassion," he said.

However, supporters of Deeming have accused Pesutto of attempting to save face after failing to expel Deeming.

Pesutto has responded by stating that Deeming gave "important concessions" requested a week after the leadership team summoned her to a meeting.

The Liberal party room has received written and verbal assurances from Deeming that she would not repeat what they see as "mistakes she made at the rally". Pesutto said that Deeming understands the outcome of the meeting and that the party room will take it very seriously if she does not act consistently with their decision.

The controversy surrounding Moira Deeming's attendance at the women's rights rally and her tweets afterward has brought her under fire from her party colleagues, but particularly John Pesutto.

While Pesutto has shown some empathy and compassion towards Deeming's personal story, he has made it clear that her future in the party room depends on her "consistent behavior" going forward.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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