Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto’s hopes of a day off from the Moira Deeming saga have been dashed as an attempt to shift attention to stamp duty veered back to the controversial MP.
The opposition leader was in Frankston calling for the removal of stamp duty for first homes valued up to $1 million when he was quizzed about Ms Deeming’s expulsion from the Liberal Party and threats of legal action.
“We are totally focused on the state budget coming up and holding the government to account,” Mr Pesutto told reporters.
“Whatever happens in relation to Ms Deeming is a matter for her.”
The upper-house MP sparked controversy after attending a rally where neo-Nazis performed the “heil Hitler” salute.
She later served the Liberal leader with a defamation concerns notice, demanding he issue a media statement exonerating her of being a Nazi or Nazi sympathiser.
On Friday, Liberal MPs voted 19 to 11 to expel Ms Deeming for bringing discredit to the party during a two-hour meeting at state parliament.
Her lawyers earlier served Mr Pesutto with another defamation warning, saying he faced court action if he did not withdraw the expulsion motion, publish an apology and pay compensation.
Mr Pesutto said on Saturday the legal threat was directed at him rather than the Liberal Party and he had no interest in launching any counter-suit.
“We have a job to do on behalf of Victorians and we’re totally committed to that,” he said.