Moira Deeming: Australian MP who spoke at Posie Parker rally suspended – but avoids being sacked
Australian MP Moira Deeming has been handed a nine-month suspension over her involvement in Posie Parker’s anti-trans rally, narrowly avoided being expelled from the Victorian Liberal Party.
Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto initially promised to have Deeming ousted from the party after the MP attended a rally attended by British anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker.
But after a two-hour meeting on Monday (27 March), Liberal Party members convinced Pesutto to walk back on his promise to expel Deeming and instead suspend the MP for nine months.
She will also be stripped of the position of upper house whip and the $20,000 pay rise that accompanies it.
Pesutto told reporters that the decision came after Deeming made ‘important concessions’ that included condemning comments made by Keen-Minshull and the rally’s organiser, Angie Jones.
“Whilst it took a few days, Moira actually provided the condemnation I’d been seeking all along and that provided an opportunity during today’s meeting for me to propose a slightly different outcome,” Pesutto said.
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“And having heard from Moira along with other speakers herself, where she amongst other things – and I won’t go into all of the detail – but certainly called out Nazism and also called out any kind of bigotry against the LGBTI community.”
However, within hours of Pesutto’s press conference, Deeming denied condemning Keen-Minshull and Jones in a tweet.
Deeming spoke at the ‘Let Women Speak’ event, which began outside Victoria’s Parliament on 18 March. The event saw gender-critical activists clash with a larger counter-protest of LGBTQ+ advocates supporting trans rights.
It was then attended by members of the far-right National Socialist Movement, who shouted slurs at the LGBTQ+ activists and chanted “white power” before throwing up Nazi salutes.
Dan Andrews, premier of the Australian state of Victoria, denounced the gathering of anti-trans activists for spreading hate and emphatically stated that “Nazi’s aren’t welcome” anywhere.
“They were there to say the trans community don’t deserve rights, safety or dignity. That’s what Nazis do,” Andrews added.
“Their evil ideology is to scapegoat minorities – and it’s got no place here. And those who stand with them don’t, either.”
Pesutto met with Deeming after the event to inform her that he would move a motion to expel her from the party.
He described her position as “untenable” because of her “involvement in organising, promoting and participating in a rally with speakers and other organisers who themselves have been publicly associated with far right-wing extremist groups including neo-Nazi activists”.
In her speech before her Liberal colleagues, Deeming said that she and her family will be smeared as “Nazi sympathisers” in the public eye if her colleagues supported the expulsion motion, Sky News Australia reported.
“Your decision today, whether you like it or not, will be linked in the minds of the public, to the specific accusations and imputations in that dossier,” she said.
“I want to remind you all that being accused of Nazism, in any degree, by the Liberal Party Parliamentary Team of Victoria is going to have heinous consequences for my life, the lives of my husband and our four children.”
She also said the allegations that Keen-Minshull and Angie Jones were linked to far-right extremism were false, according to The Age. Deeming called the past use by Keen-Minshull of a Barbie wearing a Nazi uniform on her social media a “poor distasteful joke”, and also condemned Jones for using a “Nazi analogy”.
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