City News

Bligh rejects Sydney seat speculation

Anna Bligh has firmly rejected speculation that she plans to run in the upcoming by-election for the state seat of Sydney.

The former Queensland Premier said not only were the rumours untrue but that she would never again be a politician at any tier of government.

“I can confirm that there is no truth to these suggestions,” Ms Bligh told City News.

“I will not be a political candidate in any future election at any level of government,” she said.

Ms Bligh, who recently moved to Sydney with her husband Greg Withers, said there had been no negotiations with NSW Labor at any stage.

“I have had no discussions with any member or representative of the NSW Labor Party either before or after I got here,” she said.

“In fact I’ve not even had the chance to discuss transferring my party membership with the NSW office, let alone anything else.”

Ms Bligh would not be drawn on plans for her new life in Sydney but said she was enjoying her time here so far.

“My husband and I are happy to be here, excited to be starting this new phase of our lives and enjoying the glorious springtime weather,” she said.

Ms Bligh’s comments come on the back of a media storm about the prospect of her running in the upcoming Sydney by-election, sparked by a City News report published online last Wednesday.

A NSW Labor insider had told City News on condition of anonymity that party bosses were in negotiations with Ms Bligh to run in the seat after the departure of current member, Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP.

Ms Moore, who won a third term as Sydney Lord Mayor on Saturday, must vacate the seat before the next council meeting due to new regulations preventing NSW MPs from sitting on local councils.

At time of writing, the ALP was the only major political player yet to confirm their candidate for the upcoming by-election.

Confirmed candidates include former City of Sydney councillors Chris Harris, who will run for the Greens, and Shayne Mallard, who will stand for the Liberals.

The Australian Democrats said they would run Drew Simmons, who received eleven per cent of the vote in the recent Heffron by-election.

While he has yet to confirm his intentions, Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich – who on Saturday failed to win a council position as part of the Clover Moore Independent Team – is expected to stand as an Independent in the by-election.


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