NSW Labor general secretary Jamie Clements has resigned over the sexual harassment allegations from a female staffer.
Clements announced his resignation in a statement this afternoon, after discussions with NSW Labor leader Luke Foley, Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and NSW party president Mark Lennon.
“While I have done nothing wrong, I have made this decision in the best interests of the Party and my family," said Clements in the statement.
Clements was accused of trying to kiss staffer Stefanie Jones after pushing her against a wall last year, with court proceedings scheduled for Thursday; however, police dropped the proceedings after he agreed to not approach, contact or make disparaging comments about the woman.
“The version of events reported in media outlets today is completely false. This matter was the subject of a thorough police investigation and a separate independent investigation conducted on the balance of probabilities, neither of which resulted in any charges or findings of wrongdoing on my part," said Clements upon resigning.
Before resigning, Clements reportedly demanded a $1 million exit package. There are no details as to whether his demands upon standing down were met.
“I agreed to undertakings in order to spare the Party, my family and all those involved, a difficult and traumatic legal process. Those undertakings were made on a strictly no admissions basis.
“Throughout this process I have maintained a dignified silence. I am disappointed that others chose not to – instead using the media to pursue their agenda."
On Thursday, Jones told the Daily Telegraph she had not been given support by colleagues or party leadership after coming forward with her allegations.
"I would never want to go through this again. It’s been soul-destroying. Everybody wants it under the carpet," she said.
“There’s such a lack of support (and) as long as the party has people like (that in it), the filth ... the continuation of disgusting treatment of women will continue.”
In the Daily Telegraph, Jones alleged further mistreatment after coming forward with her claims.
“I would say if you’re a woman in the Labor Party be careful," she said.
"It’s heartbreaking when you come forward; when you’re the person who has not done anything wrong and you have people openly calling you a ‘slut’; it could not be further from the truth."
Clements had been under pressure to resign over the scandal, with federal Labor leader Bill Shorten telling media at another stop on his national supermarket tour that he had requested a report on the episode.
"Let me state I have no tolerance for workplace harassment in any set of circumstances. This morning, I have contacted the State President of the NSW Labor Party, Mark Lennon and asked him to provide a report to my National Secretary George Wright a matters relating to NSW and I will wait to see that report," Shorten said.
"I decry this behaviour full stop. Always have when I've stood up for workers in workplaces and the actions which we take. Again, I say we have no tolerance for workplace harassment and I do expect this matter to be now resolved full stop."
Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally called for Clements to resign as details of the alleged episode were revealed.
"It’s time to end this farce," Keneally said.
"Jamie Clements must go, and go as soon as possible... The party needs strong, clear effective and modern leadership if it wants to be a credible and fighting force for working people in NSW."
"The chaos, the reports into a sexist culture as well as poor governance and accountability and the ongoing issues regarding personal behaviour can no longer be ignored."