If Labor actually believed that the "vast majority of Muslims are peaceful peace loving people"this should not be an issue:
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson facing Labor axe over letter for siege gunman Man Haron Monis
OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson could face a leadership challenge as early as this week after revelations he signed a letter for Lindt cafe gunman Man Haron Monis.
Senior caucus colleagues last night launched a plot to topple Mr Robertson amid exasperation at his latest embarrassing gaffe, which has plunged Labor into disarray just three months before the state election.
“This is serious,” one senior Labor source said. “I think it’s unstoppable.”
Mr Robertson signed a letter for Monis in August, 2011, asking the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) to allow the volatile extremist to see his estranged children. It was sent two years after Monis was charged with writing offensive letters to the families of slain Diggers.
The Labor source said the Monis incident was one of a “conflagration of problems” that had landed Mr Robertson in trouble.
The Labor leader also wrote to Roads Minister Duncan Gay in 2012 asking to him to reduce licence restrictions for Ewing Filipo, a reported bikie gang member.
Opposition treasury spokesman Michael Daley and environment spokesman Luke Foley are among those tipped to replace Mr Robertson.
A Labor source said: “Daley’s jumped the counter. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be Daley.”
Mr Daley did not return The Daily Telegraph's calls.
Man Haron Monis approached John Robertson for help in seeing his children.
Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk has also been named as part of the push.
“Daley and Tania are hitting the phones hard,” another Labor source said.
“Daley is canvassing support as we speak.”
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A petition of at least 12 signatures from Labor MPs would be required to force a spill. One MP speculated a spill could occur as early as this week: “If he goes of his own volition, you could hold it (a leadership ballot) over until new year but it (a spill) could be as early as this week.’’
Mr Robertson has led NSW Labor since 2011 but was not expected to win the March election and sources claimed any change of leader before the election would be to try and claw back Labor’s support in marginal seats.
Contender 2: Maroubra MP Michael Daley, elected in 2005, held roads, finance and police portfolios in last Labor government. A former corporate lawyer and Randwick Cr.
Contender 1: Environment spokesman Luke Foley was elected to the upper house in 2010. He is a former secretary and organiser of the Australian Services Union.
Leadership speculation has surrounded Mr Robertson since October last year, when The Daily Telegraph revealed he did not report to police the offer of a $3 million bribe from murdered standover man Michael McGurk while he was boss of Unions NSW.
Mr Robertson yesterday defended his involvement in the Monis letter debacle. He confirmed he acted on behalf of Monis after the extremist approached his Blacktown electorate office.
Monis was the subject of an AVO and engaged in Family Court proceedings when he sought help to arrange a supervised visit with his children on September 4.
Mr Robertson signed a letter outlining Monis’s request, which was sent to the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Under fire ... John Robertson.
He wrote: “It would be appreciated if you could consider this request as a matter of urgency given Father’s Day is Sunday 4 September 2011.”
FACS refused Monis’s request and Mr Robertson’s office relayed that decision to the Blacktown resident.
Mr Robertson said his electorate staff did not carry out background checks on Monis, though a simple internet search would have shown his history in the courts.
“He operated under many aliases over many years,” Mr Robertson said yesterday.
“My staff do not have the capacity to do Google checks or check on individuals.”