Labor figure escapes party ban over racist rant
A Labor party figure who came under fire for racist rants about Muslims has been punished but escaped expulsion from the party.
In a move expected to fuel tensions within the party, an internal disputes panel within Victorian Labor has ruled Jasvinder Sidhu could not run for political office for the party for seven years.
But he escaped a push by right-aligned factions to be booted from the party and instead will be suspended from attending branch meetings and other events.
The Labor tribunal, led by David Cragg, found he had contributed to ethnic tensions for a political advantage and also accused Mr Sidhu of branch stacking.
"This is an opportunity to make an example, to hopefully dissuade all the other branch stackers out there - in addition to comrade Sidhu," Mr Cragg said.
It comes after the Herald Sun revealed a leaked recording of Mr Sidhu where he told a group of Indian Australians that Lebanese Muslims were sponging off taxpayers.
Earlier this year, he was punched in the face at a hastily convened branch meeting at his own house.
The incident exposed simmering tensions within Labor between the Socialist Left and an alliance of the Industrial Left and right-aligned factions.
Both sides are jostling for control of branches ahead of a looming redistribution.
Originally published as Labor figure escapes party ban over racist rant