Mallee MP Andrew Broad has resigned his Assistant Minister position following allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
A woman reported to be 20 years younger than Mr Broad told New Idea the married MP met with her after a month of correspondence that began through a dating website that connects younger women with wealthy older men, during a trip to Hong Kong.
Mr Broad, a former Victorian Farmers Federation president, is Assistant Minister to Deputy PM Michael McCormack.
Mr McCormack, the Nationals leader, said it was appropriate that Mr Broad resign, due to the nature of the allegations.
Mr Broad told New Idea 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,” Mr Broad said.
Mr McCormack said Mr Broad would continue as an “effective and hardworking” Member for Mallee.
The allegations against Mr Broad follow a string of bad news for the Nationals, which risks damaging female voters’ perception of the party.
Queensland Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan has been in the headlines recently, after he was criticised for crude comments to South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, and his staffer sent an offensive message to a female journalist.
Former Western Australia Rural Woman of the Year Catherine Marriott made a complaint to the party in February this year and said she was “dismayed” after being notified of its findings, which reached no conclusion after months of investigation.
She alleged misconduct by Mr Joyce in an incident at a Canberra hotel in August last year.
Mr Joyce has denied any wrongdoing.
The story Andrew Broad steps down from politics at next election first appeared on Farm Online.