Labor MP Emma Husar has announced she will take personal leave after revealing she had received threats of violence in the past few days.
The announcement comes as Ms Husar faces an internal investigation by the New South Wales Labor Party into allegations of workplace bullying and harassment of staff.
Ms Husar has been accused of using staff employed by her office to mind her children and clean up after her dog, with one staffer describing working for the MP as “hell”.
The western Sydney MP says she has received threatening messages including threats of violence that she has referred to federal police.
In a statement, Ms Husar said the past few days had been “incredibly difficult” for her and her family.
“I have written to the chief opposition whip to advise him that I will be taking personal leave, effective immediately,” her statement said.
“I’m a single mum and my first priority is the safety and wellbeing of my children.
“The best thing for me and my family right now is for us to be out of the spotlight so I can access support.
Ms Husar said her electorate office would continue to operate as normal.
‘A professional and respectful workplace’
Ms Husar said she was horrified to learn of the investigation into her conduct when the news broke last week.
The allegations were first revealed by news website Buzzfeed News, detailing accusations of harassment, intimidation and demanding staff to carry out personal duties, by Ms Husar.
Ms Husar has been a member of federal Parliament since 2016, and said no staff had ever raised issues with her before the investigation was launched in March.
“I love my job and I am incredibly passionate about representing the Lindsay community I have lived in my whole life. My community doesn’t get the airtime it deserves and I am working hard to change that,” Ms Husar said in a statement issued last week.
“The assertions that have been made do not reflect who I am or how my office operates.
“My office is a professional and respectful workplace. It should not be perceived in any other way and, of course, I am sorry if any person has been given reason to think otherwise.
“I am a single mum with three children, working hard and doing my best. If I have let anyone down, I apologise.”
Ms Husar last week received the support of senior federal Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese who defended his colleague as a “terrific” hard-working single mum.
“What I know about Emma Husar is that she’s a single mum, works incredibly hard, represents her electorate very strongly,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.
“I find her a terrific person to deal with. I find her a very good local member of Parliament.”
A NSW Labor Party spokesman told the ABC that no public comment would be made until the “conclusion of the independent process”.
-with AAP and ABC