New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has called for the immediate resignation of Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen after reports that he offered a sex worker $1000 for sex in Parliament House.
According to the ABC, Johnsen allegedly sent the woman an obscene and inappropriate video and a number of lewd text messages *while* Parliament was sitting for Question Time. Yes, you read that right – WHILE. PARLIAMENT. WAS. SITTING.
Messages allegedly sent during Question Time included “I’m in QT and fuck I’m horny” and “I’m sitting in the chamber with a hard-on now.”
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sex work, or seeking sex workers’ services, but it’s not exactly an appropriate use of time while sitting in Parliament.
But to make matters worse, the allegation comes after Johnsen moved to the crossbench after being accused of raping the same sex worker. However, it’s worth noting that Johnsen has vehemently denied this allegation.
“I am confident any investigation will conclude that I am an innocent party,” he said in a statement when he stood down from his role as parliamentary secretary for agriculture.
Following the ABC report, Barilaro has contacted Johnsen to call for his resignation.
“I’ve been in contact with Michael Johnsen this morning and expressed the view that his position as member of Parliament is untenable,” Barilaro said in a statement.
“This is disgusting behaviour and will never be acceptable, nor should it be and I’m calling for him to resign from Parliament immediately.
“It is now up to Mr Johnsen to reconsider his position as an independent member of Parliament.”
According to messages obtained by the ABC, Johnsen allegedly offered the woman $1000 to have sex with him in his Macquarie Street office after a budget estimates meeting.
In an interview with 2GB on Tuesday morning, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “absolutely disgusted” if the ABC reports are correct.
“For many women in public life we know challenges that exist, but when colleagues and former colleagues do that type of thing it’s beyond disgusting,” Berejiklian said.
“I want people, not just in politics but in all spheres of life, to be respectful of women and treat them equally.”
There is no official resignation from Johnsen at the time of publishing.
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