Australia

NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen resigns following rape allegation and sex worker scandal

NSW Nationals MP Michael Johnsen has quit parliament after an escalating scandal involving a sex worker.

Nationals Leader John Barilaro said he welcomed the news.

“Yesterday … I told Mr Johnsen his position as a Member of Parliament was untenable and called for his resignation,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Upper Hunter MP went to ground on Tuesday after the ABC reported he’d allegedly offered a sex worker $1000 to have sex with him at his parliament house office, exchanged lewd texts with her and sent her a video while sitting in parliament.

The report cames a week after it was revealed the same sex worker had accused him of raping her in 2019 and police were investigating. Mr Johnsen has vehemently denied the accusation.

After that Mr Barilaro stripped him of his role as parliamentary secretary, removed him from the Nationals and coalition partyrooms and suspended him from the National Party.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday she was “very relieved” he had quit.

“That’s a good outcome and we look forward to moving forward,” she said.

The development robs the government of it’s majority, leaving it to fight a by-election where it holds just a 2.2 per cent margin.

Labor Leader Jodi McKay says the ALP is ready to have “a red hot go” at winning the seat which has been held by the Nationals for more than 90 years.

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