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An independent challenger in the Sydney seat of Fowler claims she’s the victim of a “smear” campaign from her political opponents, as she denied having any memory of a voicemail from 2019 in which she purportedly said she “tried to stop police having a record” on one of her allies.

The voicemail, leaked to 9News, allegedly dates back to 2019, and came the day after a Cabramatta Liberal branch meeting descended into a brawl over party membership.

Video aired by A Current Affair at the time showed Dai Le was present at the meeting, and showed the police were called, but no further action was taken.

Independent candidate Dai Le campaigning at St John Park in Fowler in Sydney.
Independent candidate Dai Le campaigning at St John Park in Fowler in Sydney. (Nick Moir)

In the voicemail, Le purportedly said “I hope that you were not fined by police, I tried to stop police having a record on you”.

When 9News played the audio to Le, she said she had no recollection of leaving the message, and denied ever having conversations with police about any of her associates.

“I cannot recall that voice message … I’ve got no idea what it is,” she said.

Le also suggested the audio could’ve come from a different time, and accused her political opponents of using “dirty” tactics to try to bring her down.

“Both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party are trying to smear me,” she said.

Kristina Keneally out at election booths in Fowler in Fairfield ahead of the federal election.
Kristina Keneally out at election booths in Fowler in Fairfield ahead of the federal election. (Nick Moir)

Le said she had also been the target of “misleading” signs showing her standing next to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, but she insists she’s a true independent after being suspended from the Liberal Party in 2016 for running against an endorsed Liberal candidate in a race for mayor.

“It just shows fear from the Labor Party … they are obviously concerned for the seat,” she said.

Labor should be feeling comfortable about the contest in Fowler, with the seat held on a margin of 14 per cent, but the party has faced some local anger over its decision to parachute in Kristina Keneally, who’s not from the area, as their candidate.

Senator Keneally denies she’s experienced any backlash.

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“Certainly the feeling I get on the ground is one of enthusiasm and support,” she told 9News.

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