Embroiled Liberal MP Andrew Laming has revealed the empathy training he was ordered to undergo last month was but an online course. And, that it taught him he has too much empathy.
In March, you’d remember Laming was accused of repeatedly harassing and bullying two women on social media. He publicly apologised for his behaviour in Parliament, only to later downplay his apology in a post on Facebook.
“In this climate – I willingly apologise – I didn’t even know what for at 4pm when I did it,” he wrote on Facebook, alongside two laughing emojis and one heart eyes emoji.
Laming told News.com.au that the emojis had been an accident.
Shortly after, a third woman alleged that the outgoing MP had taken a photo of her bending over without her consent. While the woman made a formal complaint to Queensland police, Laming was eventually cleared.
However, Laming was ordered into an empathy training course by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who told reporters at the time that he hoped to see a change in Laming’s behaviour afterwards.
Laming has now told News.com.au that he found the empathy training “helpful”.
While he didn’t share details about the online course, which was apparently switched online due to the Brisbane lockdown, Laming told the news site that the training showed him that he cares too much for other people.
He said that empathy was part of the symptoms which lead to his recent ADHD diagnosis.
“What I have realised is that part of the symptoms was I was almost overly empathetic because I was getting involved in stuff I shouldn’t have, getting immersed and obsessed and determined to ‘fix it’,'” he said.
Laming, who was a medical practitioner before he entered politics, exclusively opened up about his ADHD diagnosis to the news site, explaining that he had “no idea ADHD and hyperactivity was an adult condition.”
Laming said the diagnosis was “not an excuse” for his past behaviour and that he wasn’t looking for a “free pass”, even though his mates and colleagues said the diagnosis helps to explain “why Andrew Laming is a dickhead”.