Tasmania's Labor party has been thrown into fresh chaos with internal calls for the state president to resign amid disputed conclusions of an investigation into a sexual harassment claim against him.
Ben McGregor stepped aside from the role and also quit as a state election candidate after the allegations were aired publicly in April prior to the May 1 poll.
He was accused of sending offensive text messages to a former female colleague seven years ago.
He said he apologised to the woman at the time after she indicated she felt uncomfortable about a word he used, and said the messages were sent in jest.
The party, which is in opposition and has suffered three straight state election losses, engaged law barrister, Dr Andrew See, to investigate the complaint.
"The executive summary of the report has been provided to both me and the complainant," Mr McGregor said in a statement on Friday.
"Dr See's investigation made no findings of wrongdoing or sexual harassment against me.
"This has been a very difficult time for me and my family. I am relieved that the investigation has concluded and that it has cleared me of any wrongdoing."
Mr McGregor, who had intended to run as a candidate in the Hobart electorate of Clark, indicated he would resume his role as state president.
However, state Labor secretary Stuart Benson painted a different picture, saying the investigation determined the complaint did not fall within the terms of the party's policy.
"More importantly, the complainant has now determined that she does not want to pursue her complaint under the party policy," he said.
"The parties involved were offered professional conciliation, with the costs to be covered by the Labor party, as an avenue to help resolve the matter, however both have declined."
Mr McGregor said he was pursing legal action because of the failure to keep the complaint confidential until an independent investigation had been undertaken.
"Mr McGregor has confirmed he wishes to pursue legal action, I do not think it appropriate to do that in the position of party president," Mr Benson said.
"I have asked him to resign as party president.
"I cannot see a tenable and working situation where the party president says he is now taking steps to address this issue legally - whether that be against individual members or senior members of the Labor party."
Mr Benson said members of state parliament had passed a unanimous motion of no confidence in Mr McGregor.
Mr McGregor was told to quit his candidacy by state Labor leader Rebecca White, who stepped down after the election loss but has since returned to the helm after her replacement David O'Byrne was accused of sexual harassment.
Mr O'Byrne has denied the allegations and continues to serve in parliament despite Ms White calling on him to resign.
At the time, Mr McGregor said the complaint against him sought to "pervert and weaponise the current justified public outrage about the treatment of women in this country for selfish, tawdry and political purposes".
Australian Associated Press