Cessnock MP Kerry Hickey has responded angrily to rumours about his personal life, including false claims he fathered a child to a NSW parliamentary staff member.
Mr Hickey confirmed he was separated from his wife, but said he still lived in the electorate and expected to be preselected by his party to contest the state election next March.
He provided his Cessnock address to the Newcastle Herald.
‘‘That’s my house address, that’s my mail address and that’s where I sleep,’’ he said.
‘‘If I do go away of a weekend or anything, that’s my business.’’
Mr Hickey confirmed the name of a NSW parliamentary staff member attached to a legislative assembly committee as the woman with whom he had been linked.
‘‘We’re friends, but I don’t see why I should have to make any comment beyond that,’’ he said.
The woman had a baby, but it was not his, Mr Hickey said.
He had become a grandfather for the first time in the past few months, and a second daughter was expecting a baby, he said.
He was expecting to be preselected when the Labor Party held preselections after the federal election.
‘‘I thought it would be straightforward but you never know with these things,’’ he said.
Charlestown MP Matthew Morris also responded to suggestions he was not living in his electorate after the end of his marriage several years ago.
‘‘I can tell you absolutely that I am living in the electorate, across the road from my electorate office as a matter of fact, and I’ve been at that address for a number of months,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m only in Sydney as far as any parliamentary responsibilities go.’’
He and his partner had a baby, born last year.
‘‘I’ve heard all sorts of stuff going round about me, but people have no idea,’’ he said.
Mr Morris also expects to be preselected after the federal election, and said the Labor Party ‘‘would be stupid and effectively starting bloodbaths in parts of the state’’ if it parachuted in high-profile candidates at this stage.
‘‘What we saw in Newcastle last time does the party no favours in an electoral sense,’’ he said.
Mr Morris said he believed the Labor Party should re-endorse all sitting candidates so the government could concentrate on governing.