Labor has categorically denied any involvement in an alleged smear campaign against the Liberal candidate for the marginal NSW Central Coast seat of Robertson, Darren Jameson.
A formal complaint was lodged with police against Mr Jameson, who is himself a police officer, after he was allegedly aggressive towards two 13-year-old boys he suspected of throwing eggs at his car on Friday night.
Mr Jameson has said today that he is the victim of a dirty smear campaign, after one of the boy’s parents lodged a complaint with Gosford police.
Labor candidate Deborah O’Neill’s campaign director says the smear allegation is “ludicrous”.
“We had absolutely, categorically nothing to do with this,” George Houssos told AAP.
“We don’t even know those kids.
“To imply there is some elaborate conspiracy between Deborah and a couple of kids to set up (Mr Jameson) is ridiculous.
“It’s a desperate tactic from a desperate candidate.”
Mr Jameson was driving home on Friday night through the Gosford suburb of Kariong when eggs were thrown at his car.
He reportedly approached two 13-year-old boys whom he suspected of throwing the eggs and took them to the local youth centre to verify their denials.
The boys are believed to have later complained that Mr Jameson grabbed one of them by the shirt and was aggressive.
“I have subsequently been informed of allegations made against me which are completely incorrect and I strongly refute,” he told The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday night.
“I have always stood up for doing the right thing, and I will continue to do this, despite the intimidation and dirty tactics we are seeing here on the Central Coast.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is standing by Mr Jameson.
“It doesn’t seem unreasonable behaviour,” he told Capital Radio Network in Canberra.
“It’s the kind of thing that a policeman would do when confronted with a bit of unruly behaviour on the streets.”
Liberal frontbencher Scott Morrison also defended Mr Jameson, adding that Labor’s campaign was getting “very, very dirty”.
“I was in Robertson (on Monday) and there are dirty tricks galore from Labor,” he said.
Mr Jameson is a strong prospect to take the very marginal seat off Labor.
Belinda Neal was its MP until the election was called.
Ms Neal lost Labor party preselection in March to Ms O’Neill, a university lecturer.