19 June 2018Hot off the Press
A man has been hospitalised following a brawl at a branch meeting of the New South Wales Liberal Party on Monday night.
People were seen running from Naji’s Café in the south-eastern Sydney suburb of Arncliffe after police were called around 7:00pm.
The café is owned by Liberal Councillor Michael Nagi, one of three councillors who represent Bayside Council’s Mascot Ward.
An eyewitness, who does not want to be identified, claims that another member attempted to branch stack the meeting by bringing in members from outside the area.
“[They] purposefully tried to branch stack us with people from the Bankstown-Canterbury region,” the witness said.
“This seemed to be a real focus on race, religion.”
A senior Liberal Party source described the brawl as the result of an “internal power play” for control over the Liberal Party body that selects candidates for the local government area.
Another witness confirmed that there had been an attempted takeover of the branch.
“Just before the meeting started, there was an altercation where some people were intimidating and swearing and pushing and shoving of the others who belonged to the meeting,” he said.
“Others outside were blocked from entering the meeting.”
An elderly woman and a man who tried to intervene are reportedly among the bystanders injured.
Police are appealing for witnesses of the incident to come forward.