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Labor heavyweights line up for battle as race row goes national

He too will appeal the decision, arguing it was too harsh and that the charges against him were trumped-up and politically motivated.

A 19-year-old Tarneit man is facing an assault charge, accused of punching Mr Sidhu in the face during the disturbance.

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten with Senator Kim Carr

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten with Senator Kim Carr Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The internal charges against Mr Sidhu were based on comments he made about Turkish and Lebanese Muslims and a separate allegation that he worked to stack ALP branches.

Mr Sidhu, has been banned from all but the most basic party political activity for the next two years and will not be eligible to run for office for the ALP for seven years.


Labor’s internal tribunal found Mr Sidhu incited “ethnic resentment and rivalry to obtain political advantage” – describing it as a “crude and vulgar” breach of the party’s rules – and engaged in branch stacking.

Some senior figures, including Mr Shorten, have been drumming up support for Mr Sidhu’s expulsion from the party, with the key player behind the push to kick him out being the Victorian branch’s dominant factional boss and state cabinet minister Adem Somyurek.

Mr Shorten did not respond to a request for comment, but a senior party figure from the anti-Sidhu forces, told The Age that their appeal against the tribunal’s decision would compare the present Labor dispute with John Howard’s expulsion of Pauline Hanson from the Liberal Party in the 1990s over her extreme racial views.

Mr Sidhu will also lodge an appeal to a national disputes resolution panel, arguing that penalty was too harsh and the allegations against him were trumped up and the Victorian tribunal that imposes the sanctions was a kangaroo court.

Senator Carr, one of Mr Sidhu’s key backers and a long-time Left Faction leader, said his treatment had been fundamentally unfair.

“Jasvinder’s entitled to pursue his appeal to the National Executive because he hasn’t had natural justice or procedural fairness in Victoria,” Senator Carr said.

Mr Albanese’s office declined to comment.

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