Liberal Minister Resigns Following Incident With Female Public Servant

Liberal MP Jamie Briggs has resigned from his position as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, following an inappropriate incident with a female colleague in Hong Kong in November.

In a resignation letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Briggs says that the incident occuers after he, the woman, and his Chief of Staff finished off a day of official business by heading out for dinner and drinks.

“At the concluding of the dinner (which I paid for personally) we went to a popular and as it transpired very crowded bar for drinks during which we interacted between the three of us and with others in what I believed, at the time, was an informal manner.”

While Briggs doesn’t go into *exactly* what happened (although he makes it damn clear that nothing illegal has been alleged, and they both spent the night in separate locations), the woman made an official complaint about his behaviour in the days following. 

Briggs writes: “I have apologised directly to her but after careful reflection about the concerns she raised and the fact that I was at a bar, late at night while on an overseas visit, I have concluded that this behaviour has not met the particularly high standards required of Ministers. Therefore the propers course for me is to resign. This was an error of professional judgement.”

BTW guys, Jamie Briggs is the one who broke his leg after Tony Abbott‘s Kirribilli House rager:

Almost immediately after the announcement from Briggs, another Liberal MP – Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Material and Science Mal Brough – also resigned, with a statement from the PM citing the ongoing federal investigation into Brough for allegedly copying the diary of former speaker Peter Slipper.

So, looks like the early days of 2016 are prime time for a Cabinet reshuffle, then.

Photos: Stephan Postles / Getty.