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Government ministers resist calls for Andrew Laming to resign from Parliament

Senior government ministers are resisting calls for Liberal backbencher Andrew Laming to resign, after allegations aired by Channel 9 that he harassed and bullied women.

Senior government ministers are resisting calls for Liberal backbencher Andrew Laming to resign, after allegations aired by Channel 9 that he harassed and bullied women.

Key points:
  • The opposition and some Liberal MPs have called for Dr Laming to resign now
  • The Queensland MP will not contest the next federal election
  • Josh Frydenberg says he has a responsibility to his constituents to see out his term

Yesterday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Dr Laming would not be recontesting for his seat at the next federal election.

Speaking this morning, he reiterated that he thought the Queensland MP should remain in Parliament until then.

"I believe he should stay in Parliament as I said yesterday, but I also believe he should correct his behaviour," he said.

"He was elected by his constituents to serve out of his term, he has a responsibility to deliver for them a better government."

Dr Laming has been in Parliament for 17 years and is on medical leave while he seeks clinical counselling.

A low angle shot of Josh Frydenberg.A low angle shot of Josh Frydenberg.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he believes Andrew Laming should stay in Parliament.(

ABC News: Matt Roberts

)

The government currently only has a one-seat majority in the lower house, after controversial MP Craig Kelly left to sit on the crossbench.

Mr Kelly said he would continue to support the government, guaranteeing it confidence and supply.

Mr Frydenberg said he could "more than understand" why people were frustrated by Dr Laming's behaviour.

"It has been shocking for Australians and I think it is undermined the public's confidence on a fundamental institution in our democracy, namely Parliament," he said.

"No-one is understating the seriousness of these issues."

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston refused to answer whether she would be happy to have Dr Laming return to Parliament, saying that was a decision for him to make.

"I really do believe that he needs to undertake this counselling, he needs to understand the impacts of his actions," she said.

"Then it's up to him to make a decision on what his future might hold for him."

A headshot of a woman with shoulder length brown hair and glasses wearing a white blazerA headshot of a woman with shoulder length brown hair and glasses wearing a white blazer
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says Dr Laming's behaviour was unacceptable.(

ABC News: David Sciasci

)
No place at Parliament, Labor says

Mr Frydenberg and Senator Ruston's comments come after Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and two female Liberal MPs said Dr Laming should resign.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Labor's view was clear.

"I don't think there's a place for him in the Parliament," he said.

"He has a long history of bullying and belittling and abusing and trolling his own constituents."

"The government's already in a precarious position in the Parliament … the wheel's are falling off."

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