Nationals leader says embattled MP Andrew Broad should consider his future in Parliament – Politics
Nationals MP Andrew Broad has quit as assistant minister, but not left Parliament. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack says embattled MP Andrew Broad should consider his future in Parliament, amid a scandal involving his use of a dating website to meet women overseas.
- National MP Andrew Broad will refund taxpayers for flights between Mildura and Melbourne
- He resigned from the ministry amid a scandal involving his use of a dating website to meet younger women
- Mr Broad has refused to comment on his political future and if he will seek re-election
Yesterday it was revealed Mr Broad, married and aged 43, had met a woman almost 20 years his junior on a personal trip to a conference in Hong Kong.
The revelations in New Idea magazine described the website they met through as a “sugar baby” dating website, and included allegations from the woman known as Amy of Mr Broad acting inappropriately towards her.
Mr Broad quit as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister as the story hit the headlines, and claimed the woman making the allegations may have committed a criminal offence.
The Australian Federal Police said it found no offences had been committed under Australian law.
Mr Broad remains the Member for Mallee in north-western Victoria.
“I think he needs to work out whether that is entirely his future,” Mr McCormack told reporters on the New South Wales north coast.
“I think he’s got more concerns at the moment with sorting out his own personal issues.
“I would like to think that somebody who was going to represent the National party was entirely focussed on the people we serve.”
Meanwhile, it is understood Mr Broad will pay back taxpayers for flights between his home town of Mildura and Melbourne.
Mr Broad attended the Hong Kong conference on personal business in September. Parliamentary travel records show he charged taxpayers for flights between Mildura and Melbourne before and after the conference.
The ABC has confirmed Mr Broad will pay back the cost of those two flights, about $480.
The Nationals MP has been contacted for comment.
Yesterday, Mr McCormack downplayed discrepancies between his public comments on when Mr Broad told him about the incident and when the AFP were asked to investigate.
Mr McCormack had said he had been made aware of the claims to be published in New Idea “a couple of weeks ago”, and advised Mr Broad to contact the AFP.
Police confirmed they had in fact received a referral from Mr Broad in early November.
Despite the Nationals knowing of the allegations for a number of weeks, the Prime Minister was not informed until yesterday, before Mr Broad resigned.
“I thought it was a personal matter between him and his family,” Mr McCormack said.
“I don’t tell the Prime Minister absolutely everything about every Member of Parliament, he’s got enough on his mind at the moment.
“I wasn’t aware of the entire extent of what had taken place, I wasn’t made aware of that, and I wasn’t made aware of that until yesterday.”