Australia

Luke Foley succumbs to pressure to leave Parliament

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Former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley will not recontest the seat of Auburn following his resignation as a result of an indecent assault allegation.

Former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley will not recontest the seat of Auburn, with allegations he groped an ABC journalist pushing senior MPs to publicly disavow their former leader.

Mr Foley resigned on Thursday evening after ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper revealed details of a November 2016 incident in which the state opposition leader allegedly put his hand down her underpants.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian responds to Luke Foley allegations
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian responds to Luke Foley allegations

The former leader denies the allegations and said he would launch defamation proceedings, a move that disappointed senior colleagues.

His deputy Michael Daley and labor's highest-ranking female MP Jodi McKay on Friday threw their support behind Ms Raper.

Mr Daley said Ms Raper "did the right thing" in coming forward even though Mr Foley had repeatedly and strongly denied the claims. 

"She's a credible person and I believe her," he told reporters in Sydney.

"Ashleigh Raper did not deserve to be treated that way."

As the party considered moves to disendorse him on Friday, Mr Foley wrote to its general secretary saying he would run out his term and not seek re-election. 

Mr Foley said he'd had time to reflect and talk to friends and colleagues, and had decided to resign his endorsement for the seat of Auburn. 

"The Party must focus on the election which is at hand. I do not want to be a distraction," his letter reads.

"I will continue to work for the people of my electorate as Member for Auburn until the election. 

The ALP released a statement confirming they had accepted Mr Foley's decision.

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