Tue, 13 Oct, 2020

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian refuses to resign

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian refuses to resign

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's leadership has been called into question after revealing she was in a relationship with Daryl Maguire from 2015 until a few months ago.

Maguire was forced to resign as Liberal MP for Wagga Wagga as he was allegedly using his political influence in business details.

Berejiklian has rejected calls that she should step down as she has done nothing wrong, but has admitted it was "one of the most difficult days of my life".

"I'm an extremely private person and without question, I stuffed up in my personal life and I accept that," she said in a media conference following her bombshell evidence at ICAC.

She said she felt let down by Maguire after she "trusted him for a long time".

She has described the whole episode as a "personal nightmare" and said that not even her family knew about the relationship she had with Maguire.

"For someone who's very private, for someone who is very by the book, for someone who put her trust in someone she thought she could trust — I'd known him for 15 years — I can't tell you what it's done to me personally," she said.

"It's been devastating, and I've had to bear this on top of everything else."

NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said that Berejiklian has "no choice but to resign".

"She cannot possibly stay as the Premier of this state, given the extraordinary evidence that has been given to the Independent Commission Against Corruption today.

"I don't think anyone in NSW can have confidence in her — she's an absolute fraud."

"Time and time again she's stood there and she has said that you can trust her, that she has the interests of the citizens of NSW at her heart — she does not."

McKay said that her relationship with Maguire showed "very poor judgement" from the Premier. 

"It is quite obvious that she was privy to the wheelings and dealings of Daryl Maguire, a disgraced member of this parliament.

"Today she has been unmasked and today that evidence has been presented in front of the citizens of NSW."

McKay has said that the Labor Party will pursue the Premier in Question Time over the next fortnight but will hold off on a vote of no confidence, as she is waiting for Macguire to give evidence at ICAC before putting the motion forward.

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said that he was sympathetic to the NSW Premier who he has known for "quite a while".

"It would have been a very tough day for Gladys today, and I felt for her about those personal issues coming out in the way they did," he said.

"She certainly shouldn't be judged for the fact that she has a relationship with someone.

"That is her business, as far as I'm concerned - consenting adults - that is no-one's business except for hers."