Wagga-based Nationals MP Wes Fang has described his job as “safe” despite a fellow Coalition member demanding he be unendorsed by the party over vulgar text messages.
NSW upper house Liberal MP Matthew Mason-Cox has accused Mr Fang, who sits in the same chamber, of “intimidation and bullying” over texts sent one week before the Wagga byelection.
Mr Mason-Cox told News Corp that Mr Fang had called him offensive names in the messages.
You’ll likely lose this byelection because you have a (expletive) candidate and you guys don’t know how to campaign.Wagga-based Nationals state MP Wes Fang
“If I hear you are spreading false rumours about me again, I will f---ing well come after you,” one of Mr Fang’s texts stated on September 1.
“You’ve done more damage to this government than anyone I know and you’ll likely lose this byelection because you have a s--- candidate and you guys don’t know how to campaign. You are on notice!”
The Daily Advertiser had just published leaked Nationals polling that showed Liberal candidate Julia Ham was in a weak position.
Wagga Nationals members had also been accused of campaigning for independent Joe McGirr.
Mr Fang told The Daily Advertiser he would not dispute the accuracy of the text messages as reported but would not comment further on the contents.
“I don’t talk about private conversations I have with my colleagues, even though they might,” he said.
Mr Mason-Cox told another media outlet that Deputy Premier and Nationals NSW leader John Barilaro should dismiss Mr Fang as deputy government whip in the upper house and drop him from the 2019 election ballot.
Mr Fang told The Daily Advertiser he had “doubt” over his position being at risk.
A spokesperson for Mr Barilaro said it would be up to the MPs themselves to sort out their differences.
“Wes and Matthew are two grown men and capable of discussing any differences of opinion in person,” he said.
“The people and families we represent expect us to be focused on working for them rather than commenting on each other.”
Mr Mason-Cox’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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