Hunter Labor MPs have condemned the alleged behaviour of their former party leader Luke Foley and backed his decision to resign.
Mr Foley resigned as the Opposition leader on Thursday after ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper released a statement alleging Mr Foley had groped her at a Christmas party in 2016.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said the allegations were “sickening”, Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison called them “unacceptable” and Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said they were “very serious”.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said the “position that the journalist was put in was unacceptable” and his former party leader’s position was “untenable”.
A caucus meeting is expected to be held by the party on Saturday. Only Ms Washington declared who she would support.
“Tomorrow, our party will elect a new leader and I’ll be supporting Michael Daley,” she said.
The MP’s comments come after Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison said on Thursday the journalist was “incredibly brave” for coming forward in “extremely difficult circumstances”.
Ms Washington also commended the reporter.
“I admire Ashleigh for her courage in speaking out in circumstances that she should never have been placed in,” she said. “Every woman everywhere should be able to live free from sexual harassment, assault and violence.”
Ms Harrison said the way the incident became known had made her angry.
“Sexual harassment or assault is totally unacceptable in any circumstances or environment,” she said.
“I am angry that not only what is in her statement could have happened, but also that she has had to make her statement against her wishes and that her privacy has not been able to respected. Luke has made the correct decision in standing down.”
“I have worked hard to re-build the trust of the people of Charlestown since I was elected in 2014, following the events which led to that by-election. I believe the people of NSW will vote for members who will uphold their trust and integrity.”
Swansea MP Yasmin Catley did not comment.