NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro says MP Michael Johnsen must resign over ‘disgusting behaviour’

NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro says former partyroom colleague Michael Johnsen must immediately resign from parliament amid new allegations of poor behaviour.

The ABC on Tuesday reported the Upper Hunter MP offered a sex worker $1000 to have sex in parliament and sent the woman lewd text messages and an obscene video while sitting in the parliamentary chamber.

The report comes a week after Mr Johnsen went on leave and moved to the crossbench after denying allegations – first aired in parliament – he raped the same woman at a Blue Mountains lookout in 2019.

Mr Barilaro in a statement on Tuesday said Mr Johnsen must resign immediately and his role as an MP was “untenable”.

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

On Tuesday morning Gladys Berejiklian said she was disgusted by the report.

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

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was disgusted by the report.

“If that is correct I am absolutely disgusted,” she told 2GB radio.

“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.”

Ms Berejiklian said police were investigating the rape allegation “so I can’t really say more than that”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.


“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 said.

She wanted people to acknowledge the subconscious bias that exists 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 said she was raped in a senior government minister’s office in March last year.

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