Labor leader Anthony Albanese has denied he’s being outfoxed in his attempts to expel controversial union boss John Setka from the party.
Mr Albanese has been forced to shelve the plans after Mr Setka mounted a legal challenge, which threatens to drag on for much of this year.
Even still, Mr Albanese insists his high-profile clash with the Victorian construction kingpin won’t be a thorn in his side.
“He has already been suspended of course, his membership of the party, he can take no active role in the party,” Mr Albanese told the Nine Network on Friday.
“I always knew when you take on a powerful interest like John Setka then he will argue his case strongly.
“We will get what we want. He will be out of the party.”
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Peter Riordan is considering the legality of Labor’s proposed expulsion after Mr Setka filed an urgent injunction to save his membership.
Labor has agreed to stall the expulsion until the court action is settled.
Mr Setka argues the expulsion would stop him being an effective advocate for the union and its members.
He and Labor also disagree about what power the national executive has to expel a Victorian member.
Mr Setka was last month convicted for harassing his wife and is accused of making disparaging remarks about anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.
Labor claims that having Mr Setka remain a member damaged the party’s reputation.
Justice Riordan has reserved his decision and the matter is due back in court at a later date.