NSW Labor frontbencher Walt Secord is stepping down from the shadow ministry after being accused of bullying by past and current colleagues.
- Walt Secord says he asked to stand aside following a “long reflection”
- Several past and present colleagues have accused Mr Secord of bullying
- It follows the release of the Broderick review into NSW parliament
Mr Secord, who held several shadow portfolios, said he had asked Opposition Leader Chris Minns to “let me stand aside” after a “long reflection.”
It follows the release of the Broderick review into the culture of the NSW parliament, which exposed a “toxic” environment of bullying and sexual harassment.
Mr Secord has spent more than 30 years in the Labor Party and was serving as the opposition spokesman for police, counter terrorism, arts and heritage and the north coast.
He issued an apology last week after an ABC investigation uncovered allegations against him by several unnamed people.
“Chris [Minns]myself, and the NSW Labor Party have committed to adopting the recommendations of the Broderick review and working across party lines to make the NSW Parliament and NSW politics a workplace we can all be proud of,” he said in a statement.
“I fully support the Broderick review and the change it will hopefully lead to. But my remaining in the shadow ministry at this time has become a distraction from these major revelations and the important work that needs to be done.
“I will be making no further comment.”
Mr Secord is the first NSW politician to step down following the review conducted by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.
Last week, Premier Dominic Perrottet said the findings were “sobering, confronting and unacceptable”.
“If parliamentarians cannot lead and provide an environment where the workplace is safe, what hope do we have for other workplaces across our great state?”
On Friday, Mr Secord apologized for his conduct in office, acknowledging he could be “too blunt and too direct” in the high-pressure environment.
“If any parliamentary staff members feel that my conduct in the workplace was unprofessional and caused offense or distress and was unacceptable, I unreservedly apologize,” he said.
The senior Labor figure said he wanted to be part of “repairing the culture in state parliament, and addressing my behavior as part of that”.
Mr Minns has called a press conference for later this morning.
More to eat.