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Exiled MP Moira Deeming says she felt like she had been “relentlessly hunted” out of the Liberal party room, but has declared she will never quit or resign from the party.
In an interview with Sky News commentator Peta Credlin, Deeming said she felt “betrayed” following the months-long saga.
Moira Deeming was suspended from the Victorian Liberal Party in March before being expelled from the party room on Friday.Credit: Darrian Traynor
Deeming was ousted from the parliamentary party room on Friday, following a 19-11 vote from her fellow Victorian Liberal MPs.
Liberal leader John Pesutto had attempted to dump the first-term MP from the Liberal benches almost two earlier after she attended the Let Women Speak rally, which was gate-crashed by neo-Nazis.
Friday’s vote to remove the Western Metropolitan Region MP happened after she informed the party’s leadership team she intended to sue for defamation and launch legal proceedings to challenge her nine-month suspension.
In the interview, Deeming maintained she did “nothing wrong” when she attended the rally and felt she had honoured the terms of the suspension since March. A dispute over the minutes of the March meeting resulted in MP Renee Heath, a Deeming supporter, being voted out of her role as party room secretary.
“I feel completely betrayed,” she said, in the interview published by the Herald Sun.
“I feel done over, like they were stringing me along, hoping to find some other way to get rid of me because they don’t like my views on issues like women, and they’ve already worked out I have had these views for a long, long time and I am committed to defending them.
“Why am I being blamed for my own demise when I was relentlessly hunted by a pack of people who were never going to stop?”
Pesutto said on Friday the decision to expel Deeming was not one any political party would “take lightly”.
“This was more about being part of a team and being disciplined,” the opposition leader said. “I think that was operating on the minds of the people who made the ultimate decision.”
Deeming said she had no real intention of suing the Liberal Party and was looking to enter mediation because her grievance was with Pesutto.
Pesutto declined to comment when contacted by this masthead on Sunday. On Saturday, he was asked by media if he was concerned about the prospect of Deeming conducting an interview with Credlin.
“We’re not going to be distracted by anything else,” Pesutto said. “We are totally focused on the state budget coming up and holding the government to account. Whatever happens in relation to Mrs Deeming is a matter for her.”
Deeming was defiant in the face of speculation that she would be removed from the Liberal Party altogether.
“I will never resign. I will never quit. I will not do their dirty work for them, I have much too much dignity for that,” she said in the interview.
In an email sent to Liberal rank-and-file members on Friday night, seen by The Age, party president Greg Mirabella said reports the administrative committee was considering expelling Deeming were incorrect.
“There is now speculation in the media that the administrative committee is actively considering [expelling] Moira. This is incorrect – the committee is yet to meet after today’s event,” he said.
Having moved to the crossbench, Deeming said she would be focusing on the “overcrowding” and underfunding of western Victoria, including the upkeep of local roads.
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