‘One last chance’: Labor MPs eye McKay’s leadership
Jodi McKay's hold on the Labor leadership has taken a significant blow with MPs across all factions saying she was on her "last chance" after penning a letter which was used to support a convicted paedophile's bridging visa application.
The Daily Telegraph has spoken to multiple MPs, including some who supported McKay in the 2019 leadership ballot, who want to see her replaced in order to assist Labor's chances, however even they struggle with forming a plan to act due to the rules limiting spills set up by Kevin Rudd.
Ms McKay's closest allies and head office remain supportive, and when asked directly if her leadership had been put at risk, the Opposition Leader said she had received "overwhelming support" from her colleagues since the letter was revealed.
That's despite MPs from both sides of the party indicating Ms McKay was rapidly losing their confidence.
One MP said the "general consensus" among MPs is that Ms McKay's leadership is an "ongoing problem".
"The general view is there's one last chance," said another.
In an interview yesterday, Ms McKay said she hadn't "done anything wrong" but said she regrets writing the letter.
Asked whether she would apologise to the two women, including a victim who was indecently assaulted by the man when she was 13-years-old, Ms McKay said: "I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to speak to them."
Ms McKay wrote the letter, which the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) considered a "letter of support" for the man's bridging visa application, at the request of a constituent.
Neither the constituent nor Ms McKay knew the man had been convicted almost a year earlier of indecently assaulting a child, they said.
Ms McKay said that if she had known about the crime, she would not have written the letter, she said.
Despite that, McKay said she did not know the letter would be used in an attempt to get the man a visa.
She had written to the AAT saying the letter "categorically does not constitute a letter of support".
The Labor leader mounted a defence of her actions in Labor's caucus meeting yesterday, sparking a fiery exchange with one MP, according to multiple sources in the room.
The Labor leader told colleagues that Prospect MP Hugh McDermott knew the constituent involved in the matter. According to Labor sources, that statement prompted Mr McDermott to angrily interject, telling the room: "I know the victim, I know the family. Don't use me in your defence."
Originally published as 'One last chance': Labor MPs eye McKay's leadership