Deeming serves Pesutto with defamation notice

Moira Deeming has served John Pesutto with a defamation concerns notice, 24 hours before the state parliamentary party is due to vote on a second motion to expel her.

The notice warns that the suspended Liberal MP may commence Federal Court proceedings after 28 days if the Victorian Opposition Leader does not immediately seek the withdrawal of Friday’s expulsion motion, publish an apology to her on his website, and pay her compensation and legal costs.

Company Giles principal Patrick George, who wrote the textbook on Australian defamation law, issued the legal threat on Ms Deeming’s behalf on Thursday morning.

Should it go ahead, Friday’s expulsion motion is expected to pass with support from the majority of the state Liberal party room, but the concerns notice puts Mr Pesutto in the awkward position of placing himself at risk of an unedifying public legal battle if he allows the expulsion to proceed.

In the 11-page legal letter, Mr George alleges that Mr Pesutto accused the MP “of being a Nazi sympathiser” in seeking to justify his botched attempt to expel her from the party in March.

“These accusations, and the motion to expel her, leaked by you to the media to be published as widely as possible, were defamatory of our client, are false, and have caused serious and potentially irreparable harm to her reputation,” Mr George wrote in the concerns notice.

Mr Pesutto’s March attempt to expel Ms Deeming followed her attendance at a “Let Women Speak” rally alongside British activist Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker, former federal Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, and left-wing Jewish feminist Angie Jones.

The rally was organised by Ms Keen’s activist group, Standing for Women UK, which campaigns against what its supporters see as the infringement of transgender rights upon those of women and children.

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One thought on “Deeming serves Pesutto with defamation notice”

  1. This debacle reminds me of the penultimate scene from Dr Strangelove.

    Instead of Slim Pickens riding the bomb down and yahooing with his cowboy hat, I just see Pescutto doing this…

    Gosh, we can’t have women who won’t obey their masters can we?

    What an absolute travesty.

    There is no opposition in Victoria alas…

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