Andrew Broad resigns as assistant minister following allegations he used website to meet women – Politics
Victorian Nationals MP Andrew Broad has quit as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister. (ABC News: Luke Stephenson)
Nationals Leader Michael McCormack has sought to clarify what he knew, and when, about the scandal engulfing Nationals MP Andrew Broad.
Mr Broad today resigned as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister after New Idea published allegations Mr Broad used a dating website to meet younger women while he was away on work trips.
- Andrew Broad has resigned as assistant minister but will remain in Parliament
- New Idea article included allegations from a woman that Mr Broad used a website to meet women
- Mr Broad has referred the matter to police
Mr Broad said he had raised the matter with the Australian Federal Police. In a statement later today, a police spokesperson said “no applicable offences under Australian law have been identified”.
The AFP said the matter was raised with them on November 8.
When asked about the incident, Mr Broad’s leader Mr McCormack said he learnt about it “a couple of weeks ago”.
But he later sought to clarify the timeline, saying while he had known about the incident since November, Mr Broad had merely said he had gone on a date with an individual while on a personal trip to Hong Kong.
“When asked today about the timing of Mr Broad’s notification to me of allegations against him in the media, I responded “a couple of weeks ago” as I thought that was approximately the timing of that call,” the statement reads.
“At the time, Mr Broad advised me that he had contacted someone overseas for a date and went out to dinner with the individual. He said nothing more than that had happened and that he was on a personal trip to Hong Kong.
“Based on the information provided to me by Mr Broad, I believed it was a matter for him and his family at that time.”
The New Idea article quotes a woman called Amy, who says she is almost 20 years younger than the federal MP.
She claims she had dinner with him at a Hong Kong restaurant.
The Member for Mallee is married and told the magazine he believes the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity.
Following the publication of the article, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals Mr McCormack said given the nature of the allegations, it was appropriate Mr Broad resigned from the ministry.
“Mr Broad will continue as an effective and hardworking Member for Mallee, a role he has capably held since 2013,” Mr McCormack said in a statement.
Mr Broad was approached directly for a response, but was yet to provide one.
“I have been advised that the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity,” he said in a statement to New Idea.
“This matter has been reported to the Australian Federal Police and I will not be making any further comment.”
New Idea has published a photo of the woman who claims to have met Andrew Broad at a Hong Kong restaurant. (New Idea/Supplied)
Mr McCormack described the incident as an “unfortunate distraction”, particularly given the Government also delivered its mid-year financial statement today.
“I urged him to contact the Australian Federal Police about the allegations that had been made by him, and against him,” he said.
“I think that’s the right course of action and we’ll see what the AFP come up with as a result of these investigations.”
Early on Monday afternoon, Mr McCormack urged people to wait to see what the investigation uncovered and said there were “still matters to be resolved”.
“These sorts of issues are not always black and white,” he said.
However by the evening the Federal Police statement had confirmed no applicable offences had been identified.
Mr McCormack said it was the “right thing to do” for Mr Broad to resign from his position as assistant minister.
Mr Broad was named an assistant minister in August as part of the reshuffle that followed Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister.
“I’m a member of Parliament who’s got a belief and that belief does stem from the basic principles that the human race has fallen, that we can be redeemed,” he said.
Mr Broad was elected to the House of Representatives in 2013.
His seat of Mallee is one of the safest in the country, with a margin of more than 20 per cent.
He has not resigned from his seat.