“The matter needs to be resolved now”: Linda Burney. Photo: Daniel Munoz Under pressure: NSW Labor General Secretary Jamie Clements. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
AVO application against Clements withdrawn
Acting NSW Labor leader Linda Burney has called on ALP general secretary Jamie Clements to resign over sexual harassment allegations against him, declaring that his position is “untenable”.
Ms Burney said she decided to make the call after consulting with Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who is on holiday.
“While there are clearly two different versions of events, this matter needs to be resolved now in the interests of the party and its members,” she said.
“It has now become clear that this matter will only be resolved with the resignation of Mr Clements,” she said.
“I am calling on Mr Clements, in consultation with Luke Foley today, to resign. This issue needs to be brought to a head.”
Ms Burney said it had become “an issue of confidence in Mr Clements [and] the views of party members. It has also become an issue in making sure we have a viable, properly operating division in Sussex Street.”
Mr Clements came under pressure to resign on Thursday morning after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced he had ordered a report on the NSW division following allegations of sexual harassment.
Mr Shorten said he has “zero tolerance for workplace harassment” after Labor staffer Stefanie Jones publicly criticised the party for its treatment of women.
On Wednesday, police withdrew an apprehended violence order on Mr Clements, which had been in place since he allegedly tried to kiss Ms Jones in a Parliament House office last year.
Police had sought the AVO on Ms Jones’ behalf, but told Magistrate Robert Williams the application was now withdrawn.
Mr Clements agreed to several undertakings on a no-admissions basis. He was never charged with an offence, and disputed the allegations.
Mr Shorten said he has asked NSW Labor president Mark Lennon to provide a report “on this and all related matters” to his national secretary “as a matter of urgency”.
“We have no tolerance for workplace harassment and I do expect this matter to be now resolved, full stop,” Mr Shorten said.
Mr Clements – who was instrumental in installing NSW Labor leader Luke Foley – is also under pressure over allegations he misused the electoral roll.
It is alleged that Mr Clements used the roll – which political parties may only use for election purposes – to pass the address of a north coast man, Craig Wilson, to Derrick Belan, the then head of the National Union of Workers.
Mr Belan allegedly gave the information to a man who used it to threaten Mr Wilson. Mr Clements has denied that he misused the electoral roll.
The NSW electoral commission is investigating the matter.
NSW Labor has been approached for comment.
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