Nationals MP Andrew Broad Resigns Over ‘Sugar Daddy’ Claims
Federal Nationals MP Andrew Broad has been forced to resign as assistant minister to party leader Michael McCormack due to allegations about his private life.
While Mr Broad will remain in parliament, serving his northern Victoria seat of Mallee, it was "appropriate" he steps back, Mr McCormack said.
Mr Broad was named in a New Idea magazine story published on Monday alleging he used a “sugar daddy” website to meet younger girls while away on work trips.
A woman, named as "Amy", claimed she met the 43-year-old in Hong Kong in November for dinner and that he "complained about the menu prices, boasted relentlessly about his new role as assistant minister to the deputy prime minister and began to act inappropriately".
The woman also claims Mr Broad lied about his age, sent her numerous text messages that turned to a "more sexual nature" following the dinner and described himself as "James Bond".
Mr McCormack found out about the allegations two weeks ago and then urged Mr Broad to report the matter to the Australian Federal Police.
While "very disappointed" by the reports, the Nationals leader is backing Mr Broad to continue in parliament.
"I want to make sure that all of my ministers, all of my members are always doing the right thing," he told reporters on Monday.
"That is why I have accepted Andrew Broad's resignation as assistant minister."
New Idea cited Mr Broad as saying the matter had been reported to AFP and that he "will not be making any further comment".
"I have been advised that the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity," Mr Broad told New Idea.
It is the second sex scandal to rock the Nationals this year after Barnaby Joyce was forced to resign as party leader following revelations he was expecting a child with a former staffer.
Mr Broad called for Mr Joyce to step down as leader following mounting pressure about his position after reports of his extramarital affair surfaced.
"I need to know as a Member of Parliament that the person who is going to be the acting prime minister has got their mind on the job," Mr Broad said at the time.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen would not comment on the allegations, but said Mr Broad's resignation doesn't help the "chaos and dysfunction at the heart of the Morrison government".
The AFP has been contacted for comment.