« Shameful » scenes played out in the NSW House of Lords after the government’s decision to take on a position of power was shouted down by other MPs and overturned after just 90 minutes in the role.
The government tried to end a six-week stalemate on who should be President of the House of Lords by installing its preferred candidate, despite not getting a majority of the vote twice.
After failing to bring the MPs to order and trying to be heard over the shouts of « You are not elected », she was overthrown by a vote of no confidence after just 90 minutes in the presidency.
The debate turned to naming, with Labor MP Anthony D’Adam calling One Nation’s Mark Latham a « fascist » who said the Labor member was a « parent hater ».
Liberal MP Catherine Cusack said she also supported the election but said the way Ms. Maclaren-Jones was installed was a « fiasco ».
« Personally, I do not support the tactics the government used tonight to impose on my friend the honorable Natasha Maclaren-Jones as President of the House, » said Ms. Cusack.
She previously took a rebellious stance against government legislation and was punished for it by the NSW prime minister.
« I actually have no idea what people were thinking about this strategy. It was unsustainable and inconsistent with the dignity of this house, » continued Ms. Cusack.
While Ms. MacLaren-Jones received the most votes of all in two consecutive votes at the end of March, she failed to get the majority of the votes.
MPs then sought legal advice on whether that meant she was still the legitimate winner.
After receiving two separate legal opinions, both of which were beneficial to the government, the Liberal Leader of the House of Lords decided on Tuesday evening to ask Ms. Maclaren-Jones to take over the presidency.
But Labor, backed by the Greens, the Party of Riflemen, Fishermen and Farmers and an independent MP, refused to accept this, arguing that Ms. Maclaren-Jones should not be president because she did not have the majority support .
Labor MPs previously said they were not convinced that Ms. Maclaren-Jones would be able to maintain the chamber’s independence, thinking she owed Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
House of Lords opposition leader Adam Searle immediately moved to have her removed. The motion was accepted between 10pm and 4pm, and Ms. Maclaren-Jones’ reign ended.
Later that evening, the House of Lords finally got its President. Liberal MP Matthew Mason-Cox won a vote of 23 votes against Ms. Maclaren-Jones’ 18 votes and took the chair.
« I express my deep gratitude and gratitude for the trust that has been placed in me, » he said in his first remarks as President.
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