National

Albanese forced to backdown on Setka dump

By AAP Newswire

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese is expected to face questions after being forced to delay his plan to expel controversial union boss John Setka from the party.

Lawyers for Labor consented to delay Monday's planned meeting of the national executive at which the embattled CFMMEU boss was expected to get the boot.

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.

Mr Albanese declined to comment after yesterday's court hearing, during which the judge said it was inappropriate for Labor to make a decision on Mr Setka's future until after his legal ruling.

Labor MP Anne Aly towed the party line.

"We should have expected that John Setka wasn't going to go so easily," she told Sky News.

"Anthony Albanese was very decisive on this matter and I think Labor should be able to expel people who do not uphold the values that Labor espouses.

"If you can't take a fight in upholding your values what else is there? I don't know how this is going to end ... but I do hope for a resolution sooner rather than later."

The opposition leader has insisted the union boss will not remain a party member, arguing he does not live up to Labor values after admitting to crimes including harassing his wife.

But Mr Setka argued the expulsion should be blocked for reasons including that it would stop him being an effective advocate for the union and its members.

Mr Setka and Labor also disagree about what power the national executive had to expel a Victorian member.

Mr Setka was last month convicted for harassing his wife and is also accused of saying the work of anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty meant men had fewer rights. He denies making the comments.

He has filed proceedings against Labor's outgoing national secretary, Noah Carroll, Mr Albanese and voting members of the national executive.

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.