Libs disgusted with Tuckey over sick Belinda Neal joke
Maverick Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey is being branded “disgusting” and “a disgrace” by his own colleagues after using Question Time yesterday to pass around a photograph making fun of Labor MP Belinda Neal over the infidelity of her husband John Della Bosca - with Tuckey even presenting the photograph to the Speaker to see if it could be used as a prop during Question Time.
In response to the use of photographs as props by Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese - who has taunted the Coalition by showing images of stimulus spending announcements at community meetings - Tuckey arrived at Question Time yesterday with a still image from a Channel Nine news bulletin of Belinda Neal’s electorate office on the NSW Central Coast.
The image focusses on a laundromat next door to Ms Neal’s office with a sign reading “Drop Your Pants Here” - which Tuckey was using as a comical reference to the recent admission of infidelity by Ms Neal’s husband, NSW State Labor MP and former NSW Labor secretary John Della Bosca.
At the end of Question Time, Tuckey placed the image inside an envelope and presented it to the Speaker, formally requesting an adjudication from him as to whether the photograph could be used in Parliament.
While Tuckey regarded the episode as a joke and argued he was trying to draw attention to Labor’s use of props, other Liberals said they were fed up with his conduct. In the past month Tuckey has labelled Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull “arrogant and inexperienced” and spoken out almost daily against his leader’s stance on climate change.
But Liberal MPs told The Punch they thought Tuckey’s effort yesterday was in especially poor taste as it ridiculed two people over their marital problems.
“There are a lot of people in the Liberal Party who are totally disgusted by his behaviour today,” one MP told The Punch last night.
“Even by Wilson’s standards this was beyond the pale. None of us really like Belinda Neal but this is totally out of line after what she has been going through, no-one should have anything other than sympathy for her. It’s a clear sign that Wilson really is just a disgrace and hasn’t got anything to offer the party.”
The added element of Tuckey’s tastelessness is its time-wasting quality - the Speaker must now examine the photograph presented by Tuckey and report back in two weeks’ time as to whether it is parliamentary and can be used in the chamber. Not that any of his fellow MPs want it to be.
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