Labor MP Emma Husar is understood to have engaged a leading defamation lawyer. Picture: Jenny Evans.
Labor MP Emma Husar is understood to have engaged a leading defamation lawyer. Picture: Jenny Evans.

Husar hits back on staff allegations

FEDERAL Labor MP Emma Husar says bullying allegations against her surfaced after she sacked an adviser for poor performance.

The western Sydney MP has told Fairfax Media she believes the internal Labor investigation has been compromised by leaks and is understood to have engaged a leading defamation lawyer.

"The coverage of this has been nothing short of devastating professionally and reputationally. I'm not sure I will ever recover. But I am determined to clear my name," she said in a statement to Fairfax.

The member for Lindsay has been accused of bullying and sexually harassing staff in her electorate office and diverting Labor funds into her personal bank account.

The details of a NSW Labor investigation into bullying and harassment into Ms Husar's office were published by BuzzFeed News last week.

It includes claims she exposed herself in the company of Labor frontbencher Jason Clare and the staffer, was aggressive towards staff, and used taxpayer money to hire a nanny who couldn't work a computer.

Ms Husar said the vast majority of the allegations were vague and without names or dates.

"I reject them absolutely," she told Fairfax Media.

According to documents obtained by Fairfax Media and conversations with a spokeswoman, Ms Husar contends the original allegations came to light after the staffer's dismissal last December.

Fairfax reports the staffer made an unfair dismissal complaint to Fair Work Australia in January but it was withdrawn after Ms Husar pointed out the claim was lodged too late and the period of employment was too brief to be assessed.

Ms Husar has also told the publication the complaint included none of the allegations of bullying and sexual harassment that were later aired.

She claims the current investigation is a political "stitch-up" being pursued by a former NSW Labor minister, and other former staff and branch members.

The former staffer has categorically denied the allegations, labelling them "false and defamatory".

A report into the allegations is due to be handed to Labor bosses this week, just days out from federal parliament resuming.