Scott Morrison – Australian MP resigns after sending lewd messages to sex worker from parliament floor
An Australian MP under police investigation for rape resigned from New South Wales parliament on Wednesday after it was claimed he exchanged lewd images and messages with his alleged victim from the floor of parliament.
The Australian government has been shaken by a string of incidents that have seen political figures in Australia accused of inappropriate behaviour or sexual violence against women.
Last week, Michael Johnsen took a leave of absence after an opposition MP old state parliament that an unnamed government MP was accused of raping a sex worker in 2019.
NSW Police then confirmed they were investigating an alleged sexual assault against a woman in the Blue Mountains in September 2019.
Mr Johnsen, who was an MP for the National Party, issued a statement later that night saying he was innocent but would fully cooperate with police.
Earlier this week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Mr Johnsen had allegedly offered the same woman A$1,000 (£552) to have sex with him in his Parliament House office, and exchanged lewd texts with her and sent her a video while sitting in parliament while it was in session. Yesterday/WEDS he resigned.
The leader of his party, John Barilaro, said he welcomed the news.
“Yesterday… I told Mr Johnsen his position as a Member of Parliament was untenable and called for his resignation,” he said in a statement.
The government of Scott Morrison is under growing pressure as the sex abuse scandal engulfs his parliament and triggers a public reckoning over toxic masculinity.
Andrew Laming, a Federal MP who is a member of Queensland’s combined Liberal-National Party, is also currently under police investigation, for taking a photograph of a woman from behind when she bent over in her workplace.
Mr Laming has also been accused of a number of other incidents of harassment but has not been suspended by his party. He has admitted to taking the photograph and apologised for harassing two women online.