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More evidence has emerged that Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto’s expulsion of dissident MP Moira Deeming is not – how do we put this? – having the desired effect.
The upper house member for the Western Metropolitan Region, who is suing Pesutto for defamation, will take to the stage in the south-east on Wednesday night as a guest speaker at the Liberal Party’s Frankston State Electorate Conference (SEC) general meeting.
Moira Deeming is now an independent MP.Credit: Joe Armao
The appearance before the Frankston faithful comes hot on the heels of an online interview with NSW dissident Liberal Matthew Camenzuli, who can probably identify with Deeming’s struggle, having taken former prime minister Scott Morrison to court over Liberal preselections before the 2019 federal election.
Frankston SEC chairman Trevor Stewart told us there was “considerable interest” among the local Liberal membership. Although he wasn’t “at liberty” to tell us how many had signed up to attend, CBD wouldn’t bet against a full house tonight.
However, Deeming, who has been spotted at Liberal events since her expulsion, told us that she received many invitations to speak at Liberal groups – and was more inclined to accept now than when she was battling against the leader’s efforts to expel her from his party room.
The MP – who remains a card-carrying party member despite being expelled from caucus – said local Liberal officials risked the wrath of the party’s hierarchy for inviting Deeming along to speak.
“It comes at a cost to them, and I’m grateful to those people, that they’re willing to pay that cost,” Deeming said.
A spokesman for Pesutto said: “It’s a matter for the party organisation, not the leader’s office.”
We’ve given the party organisation’s office a shout, too, and they politely asked us to put them down for a no-comment.
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