Sheikh’s Credibility Crumbling as Evidence Mounts About His Labor Membership
Senate Opposition Leader, Eric Abetz, today said that ACT Greens' candidate, Simon Sheikh's account of his membership of the Labor Party was crumbling in the face of mounting evidence.
On Friday afternoon Mr Sheikh made the startling claim on 2CN that The Australian was going to correct its assertion that he had been a Labor member for four years.
Sheikh insisted he was only a member of the ALP for “a short period of time” when he was a teenager.
But today the Australian reports NSW Labor Party Secretary, Sam Dastyari, as confirming that Mr Sheikh was a Labor member for four years - not one.
A former Young Labor President has also recounted Mr Sheikh's considerable ambitions within the Labor Party.
And on Saturday The Australian reported that Mr Sheikh joined Labor on 2 April 2004 and was a member for four years until 26 November 2008, when he contacted the Party to resign, citing his appointment to an “independent advocacy job”.
All this contradicts Mr Sheikh's claim there would be a retraction, as well as claims on his website that, “when Simon was a teenager, Simon was a member of the Labor Party for a year” and “he quickly became disillusioned and left” and that the stories in the Australian are “misleading”, a “beat-up” and a “baseless attack”.
Senator Abetz said that Mr Sheikh was still trying to pass off his membership of Labor as a youthful fad, but Mr Sheikh would have been 18 years old at the time he joined the Labor Party.
Moreover following the 2007 federal election, Mr Sheikh in March 2008 was selected as a NSW Youth delegate to Kevin Rudd's 2020 Summit. He was quoted at the time saying, “We (youth) brought about change last year on November 24, but that's really only the beginning.”
This doesn't sound too disillusioned to me and it would be interesting to know whether his Labor credentials played any part in his selection as a summit delegate.
Senator Abetz said the mounting evidence that Mr Sheikh was an active, long term Labor member - when chosen, and for a while after being appointed National Director of GetUp! in September 2008 - reinforced the view that GetUp! was not independent, but in reality a front for Labor and the Greens.
It is very interesting that the Labor Party has only now outed Simon Sheikh as a member and that this was hushed up for four years until he became a Greens candidate and Christine Milne broke the Labor-Greens alliance.