Politician accused of bullying his staff and using his ‘size and voice’ to ‘name and humiliate them’, resigns for admitting being ‘too blunt and direct’
- NSW Labor MP Walt Secord said he stepped aside Monday morning
- Secord was hit with bullying allegations after a report on NSW Parliamentary culture
- The high-profile MP has been with the PvdA for more than 30 years
- Secord accused of using his ‘size and voice’ to bully, berate and humiliate staff
Veteran NSW frontbencher Walt Secord is stepping down from his shadow ministries after allegations he has bullied staff in parliament.
The high-profile Opposition Police spokesman says he has considered the findings of a bullying and harassment inquiry in the NSW Parliament and has asked Labor leader Chris Minns to stand by him.
The long-awaited independent report by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick found that sexual harassment and bullying were rife in the NSW Parliament and several people reported incidents of assault at work.
Veteran MP Walt Secord asked to resign on Monday as bullying allegations are investigated
Mr Secord was charged with bullying after the report was released on Friday and he apologized for his behavior in dealing with staff.
“After much thought and with over 30 years in the Labor Party, I have asked NSW Labor leader Chris Minns to leave me separate from the shadow ministry,” the MLC said in a statement on Monday.
Chris, myself and the NSW Labor Party have committed to adopting the recommendations of the Broderick Review and working cross-party to make NSW Parliament and NSW politics a workplace of which we can all be proud.
“I fully support the Broderick Review and the change it will hopefully lead to.
“But my sojourn in the shadow ministry at this point has become a distraction from these big revelations and the important work that needs to be done,” he said.
“I won’t comment further.”
A former Secord employee told the ABC that the politician would “use his size and voice to pressure, insult, intimidate and humiliate staff to get his way.”
Mr. Secord held the shadow ministries for arts and heritage, police, counter-terrorism and the North Coast.
His apology on Friday acknowledged that he could be “too blunt and direct in a fast-paced workplace.”
“Especially when dealing with tight deadlines and highly stressful situations in a time-sensitive, high-pressure environment,” Mr. Secord said in a statement.
“If any Member of Parliament feels that my conduct in the workplace was unprofessional and caused offense or distress and was unacceptable, I offer my unreserved apologies.”
Mr Secord was also accused of bullying former Labor leader Jodi McKay’s (pictured) staff
He vowed to be “part of the culture’s restoration in the state parliament” and address his “shortcomings.”
Education Secretary and deputy head of government in the Senate Sarah Mitchell said Mr Minns had shown weak leadership by not removing Mr Secord from his portfolios.
“I find it disappointing that Chris Minns took no action and fired him,” Mitchell said.
“Mr. Secord admitted on Friday that he had misbehaved and apologized and said he would work on it – but it was still several days before action was taken and that was Mr Secord’s choice to step aside.”