Greens leader told to quit by MPs over staffer claims
The NSW Greens have been thrown into turmoil after two female MPs today called on their leader to resign over a sexual harassment allegation made in August, which he denied.
Jenny Leong and Mareen Faruqi released a joint statement today calling for Jeremy Buckingham to step aside as leader.
In a private members statement today Ms Leong detailed her issues with Mr Buckingham and apologised for not speaking up until now.
"I cannot stay silent anymore," she said.
"The Greens is a party that holds yourselves in high ethical standards so it is cause of much disappointment that our response to recent allegations about one of our own MPs has to date been completely unsatisfactory. It is for this reason, in this place, I am calling for Jeremy Buckingham MLC to resign from his position as a member for parliament and take himself off the ticket for the 2019 state election," Ms Leong said.
"If he doesn't do this than I am urging the party to act so that he is no longer a representative or member of the greens because we cannot advance our agenda for a more just, more sustainable, more equitable world when so much energy, effort, time, resources, pain has been exhausted trying to manage one man and his unacceptable behaviour."
Ms Leong said she was referring to the allegation against Mr Buckingham by former Greens staffer Ella Buckland which was detailed by the ABC in August.
Ms Buckland told the ABC she went to Mr Buckingham's house in Newtown with another woman in August 2011 where they drank alcohol but she soon became "disgusted" by Mr Buckingham's behaviour and left the home.
She was standing on the street when she says Mr Buckingham came up behind her and kissed her neck.
Mr Buckingham told the ABC at the time that the allegation was false.
Today, the NSW Green leader responded to the call for him to stand down.
"The allegations raised today were investigated by independent workplace investigation specialists Workdynamic - as per NSW Greens policy - earlier this year and there was no finding of any wrongdoing," Mr Buckingham said in a statement.
"The conclusion of that investigation was:
'I am not satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that a reasonable person could conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that an incident/incidents of sexual harassment as defined by the legislation has occurred. Accordingly, the final recommendations are:
The Greens NSW resolve this matter with no adverse finding against you with respect to sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour towards Ms Buckland'.
"I reject Jenny Leong's characterisation of a couple of conversations we've had.
"I've been democratically elected to the parliament and to the NSW Greens Legislative Council ticket by a ballot of all members."