The NSW Right faction of the Labor Party has adjusted its plan to have former premier Kristina Kenneally move from the Senate to the House of Representatives.
The powerful faction is continuing to withstand the political fallout from the decision to parachute Senator Kenneally into the seat of Fowler being vacated at the next federal election by Chris Hayes who had anointed local lawyer and Vietnamese community activist Tu Le as his successor.
But a source within the faction said the plan for Kenneally to swap to the lower house had now changed.
“Yeah, we’ll keep pushing ahead to get Kristina into Fowler and if necessary we’ll just have head office endorse her as the Labor candidate,” the source said.
“That’s what we usually do when silly and trivial things like local sentiment, or local party members’ opinions or votes get in the way of our plans.
“But we’re not stupid. We, as a faction, know that there could well be enough of a community backlash at the next election to cost her the seat.
“So we’re changing our plan slightly and we’ll have her also endorsed as the Labor candidate in Hunter to succeed Joel Fitzgibbon.
“We’ve had our lawyers check the Electoral Act – well when I say ‘lawyers’ I mean we’ve had Richo run his eye over it once we explained to him what it was – and he reckons there’s nothing to stop that happening.
“Well, he actually said there was a bit of a grey area, but we’ll push ahead with the plan because any legal challenge would take so long that the results will be in before the question is settled and Kristina will have won at least one of the seats by then.
“If she wins both of them – bonus!” the source said.