Liberal MP Andrew Laming to quit politics at next election, Josh Frydenberg says
Queensland backbencher Andrew Laming will resign from politics at the next election, after allegations aired by Nine News in a series of reports.Key points:
"Andrew is not re-contesting the next election for the LNP, we'll find a new candidate and that will be up to the preselectors," Deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg said.
It comes after two prominent female Liberal politicians said Dr Laming should resign from federal politics in a joint appearance on the ABC's Insiders program this morning.
During their appearance, Katie Allen and Sarah Henderson said Dr Laming's alleged behaviour was unacceptable.
In a statement late last night Dr Laming said he would take medical leave and use the time to complete counselling services he had previously committed to.
Last week Nine News aired allegations that Dr Laming had used Facebook to accuse one woman of misappropriating funds from a charity organisation she worked at, which she denies.
Before the story aired Dr Laming apologised for and retracted his online comments in Parliament, but later reporting alleged he had downplayed the apology in a Facebook post — and Prime Minister Scott Morrison directed him to seek professional counselling.
"I’m very pleased he's going to be taking some time off," Dr Allen said on Insiders.
"I really think he needs to have a pretty serious look about whether he's going to recontest the next general election."
Sarah Henderson told Insiders host David Speers she hoped Dr Laming would leave Parliament.
"We can certainly say as Liberal women this is not good enough … I'm not comfortable with [the alleged] conduct, and I hope Andrew makes the right decision."Labor says Laming should resign from Parliament
Labor said news that Dr Laming would not recontest his seat was not good enough, and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese called on him to resign from Parliament altogether.
He also said the Labor would consider denying a pair arrangement with the Coalition if Dr Laming has not returned by the next parliamentary sittings.
"There's a range of measures available to the Labor Party when Parliament resumes … we regard these circumstances as being very different from the circumstances whereby someone has a health issue," Mr Albanese said.
A pair arrangement occurs when the Opposition agrees to have one of its members abstain from a vote if a government MP cannot attend Parliament.
The Coalition currently has a one seat majority in the House of Representatives, where Dr Laming sits, after Craig Kelly moved to the crossbench last month.
If Dr Laming were to resign from Parliament, the government would lose its already slim majority – but Mr Kelly has previously guaranteed confidence and supply.