NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to face no-confidence vote after Daryl Maguire revelations

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is facing a vote of no-confidence after details of her five-year secret relationship with a disgraced former MP were made public.

Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire in 2015.

Gladys Berejiklian (centre) and Daryl Maguire (right) in 2015. Source: Barry O'Farrell/Twitter

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will face a vote of no confidence as she weathers a political storm sparked by revelations of a .

Ms Berejiklian, a Liberal, admitted she "stuffed up" in her personal life on Monday after details of her close relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire were revealed during an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry. 

Mr Maguire  after admitting to a separate anti-corruption inquiry he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers. But Ms Berejiklian said she didn't stop communication until agreeing to participate in the ICAC inquiry.


While senior federal and state Liberal MPs have rallied around Ms Berejiklian, the premier could not escape relentless criticism from the opposition party, with Tuesday's parliamentary sitting bringing together all MPs for the first since the revelations emerged.

Labor leader Jodi McKay gave notice she will move a motion of no confidence against the premier, before peppering her with questions as other Labor MPs heckled.

"She turned a blind eye to corruption in her government by failing to report her knowledge of Darryl Maguire's business dealings for six-and- a-half years," Ms McKay said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during Question Time in the Legislative Assembly at New South Wales Parliament House in Sydney, Tuesday, October 13, 2020. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during Question Time at New South Wales Parliament House in Sydney on 13 October. Source: AAP

She accused the premier of being complicit in Mr Maguire's alleged corruption by neglecting her legal obligations to report it to ICAC.

Phone calls played at the inquiry proved she knew about his business affairs, Ms McKay said.

The motion will be debated on Wednesday straight after question time.

Ms McKay called the premier delusional as Ms Berejiklian told the parliament she had at all times acted with integrity.

"At any stage, had myself or any of my colleagues or the public servants who were in contact with him picked up that there was any wrongdoing, it would have been reported," she said.

"I bet there are times when you thought you could trust someone and you couldn't.

"I think everybody would argue, whether or not they choose to support me or believe me, that I was full and frank in my evidence yesterday."

NSW Opposition Leader Jodi Mckay speaks during Question Time in the Legislative Assembly at New South Wales Parliament House in Sydney, Tuesday, October 13, 2020. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
NSW Opposition Leader Jodi Mckay speaks during Question Time on 13 October. Source: AAP

Earlier, Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese defended the premier during an appearance on ABC's Q+A on Monday evening.

"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 that they did," he said during the one-on-one interview.

"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."

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten shared a similar sentiment during an interview on Today, describing the situation as "pretty human". "She's a smart lady who I think has been punching below her weight with perhaps a much more average guy," he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said Ms Berejiklian was "a tremendous premier" and she had his "absolute support".

"I thought she showed a lot of courage yesterday, but I also thought she showed a lot of humility,” he told reporters.

A number of Ms Berejiklian's ministerial colleagues have also stood behind her, with Transport Minister Andrew Constance labelling Monday "the worst day in her life".

"She has not done anything wrong. He is a separate issue, but, in terms of Gladys, she has done nothing wrong," Mr Constance said. "I think she would have said something if she knew something was wrong."

Environment Minister Matt Kean, who called Ms Berejiklian "the best leader in the country", Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also appeared on radio and television on Monday, defending Ms Berejiklian's position as leader.

"She's not Robinson Crusoe – she's human. She fell in love with the wrong guy," Mr Turnbull told ABC's RN Breakfast. "She's not the first woman to not pay too much attention to the business plans of her boyfriend."

Facing a barrage of questions from reporters in Sydney on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian again denied doing anything wrong.

"If I was aware of any wrongdoing I would have reported it," she said.

The premier said that she has "provided information to the best of [her] recollection".

“I have been as open and as transparent and as forthcoming as I can be,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian told the ICAC inquiry on Monday she was unaware of the details of Ms Maguire's business dealings as intercepted phone calls between the pair were played to the hearing. 

The calls revealed Mr Maguire had discussed various business deals with the premier, but she told the inquiry "a lot of the time I would have ignored or disregarded what he said as fanciful".

"I would never, ever, ever turn a blind eye from any responsibility that I had to disclose any wrongdoing that I saw, or any activity that I thought was not in keeping with what a member of parliament should be doing," she said.

Following the inquiry, an emotional Ms Berejiklian told journalists she was living her "personal nightmare". "I'm an extremely private person and, without question, I stuffed up in my personal life," she said.

5 min read
Published 13 October 2020 at 8:26am
By SBS News
Source: SBS