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Federal assistant minister quits after magazine's lurid allegations

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Federal Nationals MP Andrew Broad has been forced to resign as assistant minister to party leader Michael McCormack due to allegations about his personal life.

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While Broad will remain in parliament, serving his northern Victoria seat of Mallee, it was “appropriate” he steps back.

“Due to the nature of the allegations made, it is appropriate for Mr Broad to resign as the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister,” McCormack said in a statement today.

“(Mr Broad) also stressed the matter may also be subject to future investigation and further media comment on such detail is not appropriate.”

Broad was named in New Idea magazine story published today alleging he used a website to meet younger girls while away on work trips.

A woman, named as “Amy”, claimed she met the 43-year-old in Hong Kong in November for dinner and that he “complained about the menu prices, boasted relentlessly about his new role as assistant minister to the deputy prime minister and began to act inappropriately”.

New Idea cited Broad as saying the matter had been reported to Australian Federal Police and that he “will not be making any further comment”.

“I have been advised that the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity,” Broad told New Idea.

It is the second sex scandal to rock the Nationals this year after Barnaby Joyce was forced to resign as party leader following revelations he was expecting a child with a former staffer.

Broad called for Joyce to step down as leader following mounting pressure about his position after reports of his extramarital affair surfaced.

“I need to know as a Member of Parliament that the person who is going to be the acting prime minister has got their mind on the job,” Broad said at the time.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen would not comment on the allegations, but said Broad’s resignation doesn’t help the “chaos and dysfunction at the heart of the Morrison government”.

– AAP

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