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Luke Foley

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Luke Foley
MP
Luke Foley - June 2014 (cropped).jpg
37th Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales
Elections: 2015
In office
5 January 2015 – 8 November 2018
PremierMike Baird
Gladys Berejiklian
DeputyLinda Burney
Michael Daley
Preceded byJohn Robertson
Succeeded byMichael Daley
Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales
In office
5 January 2015 – 8 November 2018
DeputyLinda Burney
Michael Daley
Preceded byJohn Robertson
Succeeded byMichael Daley
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
19 June 2010 – 6 March 2015
Preceded byIan Macdonald
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Auburn
Assumed office
28 March 2015
Preceded byBarbara Perry
Personal details
BornLuke Aquinas Foley
(1970-07-27) 27 July 1970 (age 48)[1]
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Political partyNSW Labor
Spouse(s)Edel McKenna[2]
ChildrenThree
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
Websitelukefoley.com.au

Luke Aquinas Foley (born 27 July 1970) is an Australian Labor Party politician who served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of New South Wales from 2015 to 2018. Foley was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 19 June 2010 until his resignation to contest the Legislative Assembly seat of Auburn at the 2015 New South Wales election. Foley resigned after it was alleged that he had sexually harassed an ABC journalist. Foley denies the allegations.[4]

Early years and education

Foley was born in Sydney and from the age of seven was raised solely by his mother.[5] In an interview conducted when he became NSW Opposition Leader, Foley stated his mother instilled in him a triple faith of “the Labor Party, the Catholic Church and the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club”.[2]

Foley was active in student representative politics at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, the first in his family to attend university.[5]

Foley is a keen cricketer. In 1999 he worked as an accredited Triple J cricket correspondent reporting from the Australian/West Indies series in the Caribbean.[6]

Career

Starting his working life while a student as a telemarketer for the Guide Dog Association of NSW 1988–90,[7] Foley became NSW President of the National Union of Students 1991,[7] and then worked in the office of Labor Senator Bruce Childs 1992–96.[7]

Between 1996 and 2000, he was a union organiser with the NSW branch of the Australian Services Union and became Secretary of that branch between 2000 and 2003. This involved representing the interests of charity and drug and alcohol rehabilitation workers. Referring to that period in his first speech in the NSW Parliament, Foley stated:

“For seven years I organised and represented workers predominantly working in the social and community services sector. These men and women work with the downtrodden, the excluded and the marginalised. They are ordinary workers who do extraordinary things. They are passionate and dedicated and they are underpaid and undervalued. What does it say about our values as a society when these men and women are among our lowest paid workers? Community workers make a difference every day. It is time we properly recognised them for the work they do.”[8]

A member of Labor's left faction, before his appointment to the Legislative Council, Foley was the assistant general secretary of the New South Wales Labor Party from 2003 to 2010.[7][9]

Foley was a sportswriter for The Punch from 2009.[10]

Political career

Foley was appointed to the Legislative Council to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ian Macdonald.[11] He describes himself as a "practising Catholic on the Left of politics"[12][13]

Foley voted in favour of same sex adoption bill in 2010 [14][15] and in 2015 announced his support behind federal legislation for same-sex marriage.[16] Foley said: "I have an open mind. I continue to talk to many people, including gay and lesbian friends of mine about this issue".[17][18]

Following the resignation of John Robertson as leader of the parliamentary Labor Party, Foley contested the leadership in the vote held on 5 January 2015. After the withdrawal of Michael Daley and Steve Whan as leadership contenders, Foley was elected unopposed.[19][20][21] He was endorsed as the Labor candidate for the safe Labor seat of Auburn at the 2015 state election, after the incumbent member Barbara Perry stood aside to allow him to transfer to the lower house from the Legislative Council.[22][23][24] He went on to win the seat, however, with a small swing against his party in the electorate.[25] Foley did manage to pick up a 14-seat swing, and recovered much of what Labor had lost four years earlier. Notably, Labor regained many seats in its longstanding heartlands of west Sydney, the Central Coast, and the Hunter that had been swept up by the Coalition. It reduced the Coalition majority from 22 seats to seven.

In October 2018, NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott raised an allegation in the Legislative Assembly about an incident where Foley had "a little bit too much to drink at a party and harassed an ABC journalist."[26] Later that month, ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper released a statement, alleging that at an event in November 2016, Foley "placed his hand down the back of her dress and inside her underpants."[27] Hours later, Foley read a statement in which he resigned as leader of the Labor Party, but denied the allegation and said he would commence defamation proceedings in the Federal Court.[28]

Views

Foley has stated his values are "social democratic values":[8]

I believe that governments should direct resources to overcome disadvantage. The sum of our individual decisions does not add up to the kind of society that we want to live in. I believe in a strong society where we owe obligations to each other. What gives us in the Labor Party moral purpose is our conviction that the fortunate have a responsibility to the unfortunate, that the strong should help the weak.

— Foley, delivering his inaugural speech to the Legislative Council of New South Wales, in 2010.

In 2018, Foley talked about White flight.[29][30][31] He was condemned by Premier Gladys Berejiklian for his view that an influx of people of non-European descent had driven many Anglo Australians to leave parts of Sydney.[32]

Personal life

Foley is married to Edel McKenna and they have three children.[2]

Foley is a member of the Summer Hill Seniors Cricket Club, a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground since 1992, and an executive member of the Victor Trumper Society. He is also a supporter of the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Club.[33]

References

  1. ^ "Luke Foley". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "New Labor Party leader Luke Foley: How my single mum taught me 'Labor values'". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  3. ^ Patty, Anna (6 April 2012). "MPs moved by heaven and earth". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  4. ^ Smith, Alexandra (2018-11-08). "Luke Foley set to resign as NSW Labor leader following explosive allegations". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  5. ^ a b "NSW election 2015: A day on the campaign trail with Opposition Leader Luke Foley". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 Mar 2015.
  6. ^ http://blogs.abc.net.au/nsw/2015/03/sunday-brunch-luke-foley.html
  7. ^ a b c d "The Hon. Luke FOLEY, MLC". Members of the Legislative Council. Parliament of New South Wales. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Inaugural speech of the Honourable Luke Foley" (PDF). Parliament of New South Wales. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Alex (6 June 2010). "The party was over long before 'Macca' jumped". The National Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Guest post: With The Punch we will celebrate journalism - Mumbrella". 31 May 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Labor announces Macdonald replacement". ABC News. Australia. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Marriage Equality". NSW Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 31 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Gay marriage motion passes in NSW upper house". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 31 May 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/luke-foley-elected-nsw-labor-leader/news-story/683eed787c7f0c097d1b0f7f0c6063f4
  15. ^ "Luke Foley just made the NSW election interesting". 5 January 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  16. ^ Nicholls, Sean (18 February 2015). "ALP leader Luke Foley throws his support behind federal legislation for same-sex marriage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Labor can win NSW election, new Opposition Leader Luke Foley declares". 5 January 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  18. ^ Hasham, Sean Nicholls and Nicole (5 January 2015). "New NSW ALP leader Luke Foley: 'I'm not a privatisation ideologue'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  19. ^ Simmonds, Kylie (30 December 2014). "Michael Foley pulls out of NSW Labor leadership race, paving way for Luke Foley to lead party". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Foley's rise shows meritocracy, not faceless men". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  21. ^ "New NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley thinks Labor can win next state election". ABC News. Australia. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  22. ^ "NSW Labor leadership: Labor moves to install Foley into lower house hours after election as leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  23. ^ Wood, Alicia (7 January 2015). "Auburn MP Barbara Perry retires from Labor seat to make way for 'future premier' Luke Foley". The Australian. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  24. ^ "NSW Labor MP Barbara Perry withdraws from Auburn contest to make way for Opposition Leader Luke Foley". ABC News. Australia. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  25. ^ Nicole Hasham (30 March 2015). "NSW state election 2015: Ethnic dissent cost Luke Foley in Auburn". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  26. ^ Visentin, Lisa (8 November 2018). "David Elliott silent as ABC journalist alleges 'political point scoring' in harassment allegations". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  27. ^ McKinnell, J; Gerathy, Sarah. "Luke Foley allegations detailed in statement from ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper". ABC News. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  28. ^ Smith, Alexandra (8 November 2018). "NSW Labor leader Luke Foley resigns but denies explosive harassment allegations". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  29. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-24/foley-apologises-for-white-flight-comments/9796548
  30. ^ https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/luke-foley-claims-anglo-families-are-fleeing-sydneys-suburbs-due-to-refugee-intake/news-story/6891c109b7cf15817cc6307b0e87432b
  31. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/24/luke-foley-defends-white-flight-comment-but-denies-dog-whistling
  32. ^ Alexandra Smith (24 May 2018). "'Dangerous and nasty': Luke Foley attacked over 'white flight' comment". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Luke Foley". Retrieved 3 August 2018.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John Robertson
Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales
2015–2018
Succeeded by
TBD
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Robertson
Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales
2015–2018
Succeeded by
TBD
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Barbara Perry
Member for Auburn
2015–present
Incumbent