After the damning reporting about Liberal staffers engaging in sexual misconduct at Parliament house, including one staffer filming himself masturbating over a female politician’s desk, a snap sit-in protest was planned and held by female staffers on Tuesday morning.

An email shared on Twitter by political reporter Samantha Maiden detailed the plan for a peaceful protest at the building’s meditation and prayer room at 8.30am on Tuesday, a space that has been long-rumoured to be a “sex room” that staffers and politicians alike have allegedly frequented for years.

The email, seemingly sent by someone internally within Parliament staff, was shared around to all staff, encouraging people to join and help raise demands that staff deserve to feel safe and secure at work.

The New Daily has also reported that a group of staffers planned to stage the sit-in at the prayer room at Parliament House, noting that private Facebook groups were also used to organise the strike action on Tuesday morning.

Speaking with The New Daily, an unnamed staffer said the recent reports of sexual misconduct in the caverns of Parliament House was the “last straw” for the group of staffers.

“Staff are sick of being silenced by this oppressive building,” they said.

Whispers about the prayer and meditation room in Parliament House being used for sexual rendezvous have been made for decades. Samantha also tweeted that she first heard the rumour back in 1998, and said it’s been “written about a bazillion times”.

Former press gallery reporter Ehssan Veiszadeh also noted that he thinks he was probably the only person working at a Federal level that actually used the space for its intended purposes.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the rumours as recently as 2018, with Terry Barnes – who was a senior advisor to Tony Abbott during the Howard years – recalling that condoms were present in the meditation room at that time.

“Condoms in the Meditation Room were the norm in my day,” he said.

“And what happened on tour stayed on tour.”

Image: Getty Images / Construction Photography / Avalon / Twitter / @samanthamaiden