The Labor Party’s powerful administrative committee has moved to discipline an ALP powerbroker accused of attacking and racially vilifying party members.

Socialist Left figure Jasvinder Sidhu has been referred to the party’s internal disputes tribunal over comments he made at a private branch meeting last month, with the administrative committee saying if Labor did not take strong action, “we forfeit the moral right to attack … parties like One Nation who express Islamophobic views”.

The administrative committee, the party’s key decision-making body, was forced to convene a special meeting on Tuesday night after party members circulated a petition calling for Labor to deal with Mr Sidhu’s comments following leaked recordings of him allegedly vilifying Turkish and Lebanese Muslims at a branch meeting on January 25.

On Tuesday night, in a highly unusual move, the committee directed state secretary Clare Burns to charge Mr Sidhu at the disputes tribunal with a number of offences under the ALP rules, including attacking and racially vilifying fellow party members and breaching ALP rules.

“The administrative committee believes that Mr Jasvinder Sidhu’s statements are appalling examples of intolerance and discrimination,” a motion presented at the meeting read.

“Mr Sidhu’s statements regarding Muslims, as well as the Turkish and Lebanese communities are both historically inaccurate and belong in a party such as One Nation rather than the Australian Labor Party.”

Socialist Left secretary Matthew Hilakari posted a statement to members, condemning the committee and accusing it of “reaching a new low”.

The group attempted to move a motion that stated the branch opposed racism and violence, and the alleged assault at the January 25 meeting should also be investigated.

Ten members of the Socialist Left, and one independent, walked out of the meeting when their motion was voted down.

“The Administrative Committee’s actions tonight have reached a new low, more like the worst of student politics and well below the standards that the community should expect of a party of government,” Mr Hilakari wrote.

“When it was clear beyond doubt that the only point of the meeting was partisan attacks and a media stunt, SL members walked out of the Administrative Committee. We did not do so easily, and we have not done so before, but when the peak decision-making body of the party takes its responsibilities so lightly, and treats its obligations to members so flippantly, then we could no longer be party to such a situation.”

Following the meeting, Ms Burns told The Age that she had received dozens of messages from Turkish and Muslim communities about Mr Sidhu.

“They expressed feelings of hurt, especially over a lack of response from the Labor party,” Ms Burns said.

“I hope the motion that was passed tonight goes some way to giving some comfort to these communities, that the ALP condemns all forms of racial and religious vilification.”

The Victorian Labor Party has been under increasing pressure to deal with Mr Sidhu’s comments, following dozens of complaints from party members and Islamic organisations.

The Age revealed on Tuesday that more than 50 Islamic organisations banded together to launch legal action against Mr Sidhu, alleging he breached the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.