Liberal MP Andrew Laming has announced he is stepping down from “all Parliamentary roles effective immediately”.
The move comes after a third woman levelled allegations of misconduct against the Liberal MP, claiming he took a photo of her bottom, in a 9News exclusive.
Shortly after the report went to air, Mr Laming issued a statement.
“I will step down from all Parliamentary roles effective immediately and complete both the counselling courses I committed to; as well as additional clinical counselling, and ask for privacy while that is completed,” he told 9News.com.au.
“I will have more to say on my future as soon as that process is completed.
“I would like to thank my local community for their understanding during this time and assure them my electorate staff remain available to them.”
This could push the Coalition into a minority government if Mr Laming is moved to the cross bench.
If Mr Laming quits, it would trigger a by-election, a loss in which would mean the government would be in a minority.
Two days ago, a 9News investigation revealed Mr Laming had been bullying two women from him electorate online.
One of the women, Alix Russo, said the interactions had left her contemplating suicide.
Today, Crystal White claimed Mr Laming took a picture of her bottom on his mobile phone in 2019, while her underwear was exposed as she bent down and filled a fridge with drinks at a landscape supplies business in Brisbane.
“The photo was really inappropriate, especially when I was bent over,” she alleged to 9News.
Witnesses have supported her claim, including her colleague Sean Blinco.
“My manager at the time saw him do it and forced Andrew Laming to delete the photo off his phone,” he said.
Mr Laming deleted the picture when staff demanded he do so. But Ms White’s dealings with Mr Laming continued.
“He asked me what I want to do for my job. I said I want to get into youth because I’m really passionate about youth and he said he could get me into schools.”
Ms White did speak to Andrew Laming over Facebook messenger, where he offered the then 26-year-old mother-of-one help to find work in the juvenile system.
She never got a job but was offered an invitation to a house warming party at the MP’s home.
“I guess that was to try and win me over so I didn’t do anything about it, the picture,” she said.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister reprimanded Mr Laming and forced him to make a public apology, which he did – on the floor of Parliament.
Then last night, 9News exposed a Facebook engagement in which Laming seemed mocking his own apology.
Following the reveal last night, Mr Morrison today said he has asked Mr Laming to complete an awareness course “to build his understanding and awareness about his actions”.
“The way you fix this is we’ve got to educate, inform and increase awareness to change behaviour,” Mr Morrison said.
“I want to see behaviour change. We’ve all got a job to do with that. And he certainly has a job to do on this and we’ve discussed this very directly, this morning, and he’s agreed to participate in that, and then submit himself to that as he should.”
By Saturday evening Mr Laming’s Facebook page appeared to have been deactivated, with a broken link appearing online.
This content first appear on 9news