News ‘Disgusting behaviour’: Nats leader demands MP’s resignation

‘Disgusting behaviour’: Nats leader demands MP’s resignation

michael johnsen
Michael Johnsen has resigned from the NSW parliament, according to John Barilaro Photo: Michael Johnsen homepage
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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro had demanded the resignation of a Nationals colleague after a report that he offered a woman money to have sex with him in state parliament.

The ABC revealed on Tuesday morning that NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen allegedly offered a sex worker $1000 to come to parliament for sex and sent her lewd text messages and an obscene video while he was sitting in the parliamentary chamber.

The report came a week after the Upper Hunter MP took leave and moved to the crossbench after denying allegations he raped the same woman at the Blue Mountains in 2019.

Labor MP Trish Doyle used parliamentary privilege to accuse an unnamed Coalition government member of rape. Mr Johnsen later admitted he was the MP in question but strongly denied the allegation.

The woman told the ABC she exchanged hundreds of messages with Mr Johnsen after responding to his online advertisement for sex in August, 2019.

In one sexting exchange reported by the ABC, which went on for more than two hours, Mr Johnsen allegedly told the woman: “I’m in QT and f–k I’m horny and want you so bad – need you. I want you and can’t wait to f–k you over and over again.”

On Tuesday, Mr Barilaro said he had told Mr Johnsen his position was untenable.

“This is disgusting behaviour and will never be acceptable, and nor should it be, and I’m calling for Mr Johnsen to resign from parliament immediately,” he said.

“It is now up to Mr Johnsen to reconsider his position as an independent member of parliament.”

Mr Barilaro said the police investigation should be allowed to proceed without prejudice.

Earlier, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was also disgusted by the reports, if they were correct.

“For many women in public life, when you know the challenges that exist – when colleagues or former colleagues do that type of thing – it is just beyond disgusting,” she told Sydney radio 2GB.

“I want all workplaces and not just in politics, in all spheres of life, to be respectful to women and to treat them equally.”

She wanted people to acknowledge the subconscious bias against women – “especially those in leadership positions”.

“My job and the job of others is to lead by example and to call out what is unacceptable behaviour” she said.

The allegations against Mr Johnsen are the latest in a string of accusations engulfing the Liberal Party, particularly in federal parliament, since former staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations six weeks ago that she was raped in a senior government minister’s office.

-with AAP