A failed attempt to censure the NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley has been lashed as political point scoring which is stoking further division.

The political play put forward by NSW Liberal Leader Mark Speakman on Wednesday was the Opposition’s latest attack on Ms Catley after displays of anti-Semitism during a protest at the Sydney Opera House on October 9.

The censure motion, which acts as a parliamentary process used to reprimand a minister or MP, was put forward after claims she told a Jewish leader that the Jewish community should stay away from the Opera House due to safety concerns posed by the protests.

Ms Catley has denied doing so, amid claims from the Opposition she misled the parliament on two occasions.

Putting the motion forward, Mr Speakman reiterated concerns with Ms Catley’s performance as Police Minister.

“Of course a minister should not be there holding the shields, personally stopping the riot but you expect a minister to be asking her Commissioner for Police, or the most senior police officer available to be doing everything she can to stop what happened at the Opera House,” he said.

He also doubled down on claims Ms Catley had indeed said Jewish communities should stay away from the Opera House, and that she had “self interest in one version of events”.

The Opposition also moved the motion due to Ms Catley’s “failure to apologise” for the protests, and failing to understand her powers under the Police Act 1990.

They also raised questions over the transparency over the fatal tasering of 95-year-old dementia patient Clare Nowland, and why it took police 54 hours to admit Ms Nowland had been tasered.

Responding to the motion, Ms Catley said the Opposition had “politicised this tragedy for their own political gain”.

“Every question, Mr Speaker, that has been asked of me by the opposition over the last two sitting weeks suggests the fundamental implication that they do not trust the judgment or the professionalism of the NSW Police Force,” she told the parliament.

Greens MP Jenny Leong also spoke against the censure motion, and said it was the Opposition’s latest attempt to “play the person and not the ball”.

“Using censure motions should be done sparingly and seriously and they certainly should not ever be used to weaponise or for basic political point scoring,” she said.

“Here in NSW our communities are grieving, living in constant states of anxiety and experiencing trauma as a result of the indiscriminate attacks raising down on Gaza.”

Her accusations of “political point scoring” were reiterated by the government as well as independent MPs including Alex Greenwich.

Mr Greenwich said many members of the cross bench were also “disgusted” and “horrified” by the Opposition’s tactics.

“The police did a great job as best as they could be de-escalating the situation. I think what we’re not saying is things could have actually gotten a lot worse,” he said.

Instead he called on MPs to “put politics aside and to promote harmony”.

“The world is just gonna get a more tougher place. The images we’re going to see are going to be more horrific and heartbreaking and we have to raise the tone for the sake of our communities,” he said.

Deputy Premier Prue Car said the Opposition was using the conflict in Israel and Palestine to “stoke tension in our community”.

“You represent communities, that this is genuinely traumatising for every side of this very complex and generations-long conflict,” she said.

Vaucluse Liberal MP Kellie Sloan, whose electorate has one of the biggest Jewish populations in Australia, said members of her community had expressed concerns for their safety and concerns over Ms Catley’s performance.

“Police ministers are supposed to provide leadership law and order they are advocates for what is right and good, they promote accountability and trust and they should be decisive in a crisis,” she said.

“The current minister for police and counter-terrorism has demonstrated none of the above.”

Former police minister and Bathurst MP Paul Toole also said Ms Catley “did very little” to provide confidence and communication to Jewish communities.

“We are not seeing strong leadership in a role that is critical and a role that is pivotal in actually providing confidence here in this state,” he said.

The censure attempt failed by a majority of 34 to 52, with the Greens and crossbench MPs voting against the motion.

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