Nationals MP quits after rape allegation and ‘lewd texts’

Michael Johnsen has told the speaker he will quit parliament in a move that will spark a critical by-election contest for the NSW government.

The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Johnsen has advised Speaker Jonathan O'Dea electronically of his resignation, however the Speaker will need to receive a signed letter in order for the resignation to be officially valid.

It comes after Deputy Premier John Barilaro asked Michael Johnsen again last night to stand down after reports the Upper Hunter MP sent lewd texts to a sex worker and offered her money to come to NSW parliament for sex.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

He is also under police investigation for allegedly raping the woman, but Mr Johnsen denies wrongdoing and police have not laid any charges.

The seat of the upper hunter has a margin of just 2.6 per cent.

The by election will be hotly contested, with Labor, the Shooters and One Nation all likely to field candidates.

In a statement, Deputy Premier John Barilaro confirmed he had told Mr Johnsen his position was "untenable".

"Today I welcome Mr Johnsen's resignation from the NSW Parliament," Mr Barilaro said.

"My message to the people of the Upper Hunter is I will always put integrity before politics, which is why I called for Mr Johnsen's resignation.

"I want to say to the communities of the Upper Hunter that I am sorry, but please be assured the NSW Nationals' focus has always been, and will always be, on delivering for the Upper Hunter and keeping our communities safe and secure."

Originally published as Nationals MP quits after rape allegation and 'lewd texts'

 

Upper Hunter Nationals MP Michael Johnsen.
Upper Hunter Nationals MP Michael Johnsen.


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