LYONS Labor MP Rebecca White is back in the party’s driver’s seat after leadership aspirant and brief leader Franklin MP David O’Byrne crashed and burned after just two weeks in the job.
Last Wednesday at a Parliamentary Labor Party meeting, Ms White was elected unopposed as Leader.
Ms White has led the ALP to two election defeats, stood down after the May 1 poll but is now again the leader, as the Gazette reported last week, “it is almost certain former Leader Rebecca White will be convinced she is the only logical candidate to salvage the party’s fortunes’’.
In what was the shortest time in history, Mr O’Byrne tended his resignation after a sexual harassment complaint was levelled against him and which he admitted.
He conceded he had harassed a former junior col-league a decade ago.
An investigation into the complaint is being conducted by the Party.
Ms White is on maternity leave until August, but is expected to announce a reshuffle soon.
Mr O’Byrne will sit on the backbench and will not take on any portfolios.
Braddon Labor MP Anita Dow is acting leader while Ms White is on leave, following the birth of her second child just last month.
Clark independent MP Kristie Johnson has called on Mr O’Byrne to quit Parliament altogether, something he appears not to be prepared to do.
Greens Franklin MP Rosalie Woodruff accused Mr O’Byrne of not being genuine in his remorse for the harassment as he first threatened legal action against the ABC when a reporter approached him with the com-plaint.
When the harassment com-plaint was publicised Mr O’Byrne admitted he had let down his wife and family.
“I acknowledge that my behaviour did not meet the standards I would expect of my-self,’’ he said.
“At the time of the reported events I genuinely believed the kiss and text exchanges to be consensual.
“However, I now under-stand that this was not the case.
This matter has caused me to reflect deeply on the nature of consent and I have come to appreciate why the person concerned says our interaction was not consensual.
“I have written to her to offer my unreserved apology for the unwanted contact and texts.’’
The complainant said after she rejected Mr O’Byrne’s advances his behaviour changed.“
“He was rude or short with me, treated me differently to the others in a negative and sometimes nasty way, rather than the favourable tone that had been used.”