Nationals MP Andrew Broad has resigned from the government frontbench after a magazine alleged he met a woman through a dating website for “sugar daddy” arrangements and met with her while on an official government trip overseas.
The allegations were published in New Idea magazine, who quoted a woman who claimed to have exchanged text messages with the now-former Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and dined with him in Hong Kong last month.
Broad told New Idea, “I have been advised that the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity.
“This matter has been reported to the Australian Federal Police and I will not be making any further comment.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack said on Monday morning Broad’s resignation from the Cabinet was appropriate “due to the nature of the allegations made”.
Broad, who is married, was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage ahead of the postal survey last year.
Broad ultimately did vote in favour of the legislation after the successful “yes” vote, but said at the time he believed the reform would “weaken society”.
“Ultimately, I believe changing the definition of marriage from a union of a man and a woman to the union of two people both weakens this ideal and weakens our society,” he told the Wimmera Mail Times.
“I will personally find fulfilling my duty to the people of Mallee by voting yes difficult, as I believe this change will rob the future children of Australia for generations to come, but I will fulfil my duty.”
Broad also caused outrage in 2016 after he appeared to liken same-sex relationships to farm animals in comments that he later claimed was taken out of context.
“I think a bicycle is not a tricycle, and relationships can have different names,” he reportedly said.
“I can put the rams in a paddock and they might mount one another, but no lambs will come out.”