Andrew Broad To Quit Parliament After 'Sugar Daddy' Allegations
Nationals MP Andrew Broad will not contest the next federal election amid claims of inappropriate behaviour towards a young woman.
The embattled MP has withdrawn his preselection for the safe north-western Victorian seat of Mallee, but intends to remain in Parliament until the election.
It follows his resignation as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister after New Idea revealed Monday that he had sent sexually explicit messages to a woman he met on a 'sugar daddy' website while on a personal trip to Hong Kong.
"After recent media stories about my private life, it is clear that the people of Mallee will be best served in the next Parliament by a different Nationals candidate," he said in a statement.
"I want to acknowledge and thank my family, my staff, Nationals members and the community for their support of me.
"I have done my best and at times we have achieved good things, but I have also let them down."
Earlier on Tuesday, Nationals leader Michael McCormack said Broad should "consider his future" and that he was "disappointed" and "let down" by the scandal.
"I think people in a ministerial role have a certain code of conduct," he told reporters.
"I like to think that anybody who serves the Parliament, every waking minute of their day, represent the people who entrusted them with their vote and faith to do the job they want them to do."
Broad resigned as assistant minister to McCormack on Monday, just hours after New Idea published allegations detailing the meeting.
A woman, identified only as 'Amy', claimed she met the married 43-year-old in Hong Kong in November for dinner, alleging he acting inappropriately towards her.
The deputy PM told reporters on Monday he had known about the matter for "a couple of weeks" and had urged Broad to report it to the Australian Federal Police.
But the AFP said it had received Broad's referral on November 8 -- six weeks earlier -- and found "no applicable offences under Australian law".
Speaking to media on Tuesday, the deputy PM downplayed discrepancies, saying he thought "a couple of weeks" was "approximately" the time of the call.
"I thought it was. I don't carry around all the dates and times of what people tell me about what I thought was mainly a matter between him and his family," he said.
"Obviously, I wasn't aware of the entire extent of what had taken place. I wasn't made aware of that until yesterday."
McCormack said he didn't inform the prime minister because he thought it was a "personal matter".
"I don't tell the prime minister absolutely everything about every Member of Parliament -- he's got enough on his mind at the moment," he said.
Meanwhile, there are reports Broad's indiscretions were well known within the party.
According to The Herald Sun, at least three women contacted the Nationals in the past year with allegations of "sleazy" behaviour by the federal MP.
McCormack said he was unaware of the subsequent allegations.
"I had no knowledge of any allegations of improper conduct until I opened up the paper this morning," he said on Tuesday.
Broad will repay almost $500 of taxpayers' money spent on domestic parts of his trip to Hong Kong.
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Lead photo: Getty / 10 News First.