In further evidence that the Coaltion government is cracking, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has been put on notice over his handling of the Andrew Broad “sugar babe” scandal.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi says he feels for Andrew Broad's family.
The Australian reports, angry Nationals MPs are warning that McCormack's leadership has been further damaged by the saga and he is expected to face a challenge after the election.
The junior Coalition party is under pressure to preselect a woman to replace the disgraced Mr Broad in his Victorian seat of Mallee to help repair the Nationals’ tarnished brand ahead of a likely three-cornered contest with the Liberal Party.
Mr Broad yesterday announced he would not contest the next election, a day after New Idea published allegations he used a “sugar daddy” website to connect with a younger woman in Hong Kong, touching her inappropriately during their date.
Despite the salacious revelations, Mr Broad’s wife, Rachel, yesterday appeared in public with her husband, holding his hand as they visited a bakery in the Mildura suburb of Red Cliffs.
There were fears that more allegations regarding Mr Broad’s conduct could come out after Nationals sources confirmed that the party had received correspondence from several women threatening to reveal his behaviour.
Several Nationals MPs rounded on Mr McCormack — who alerted Scott Morrison to the saga only on Monday morning — questioning when he found out about the allegations and his decision to praise Mr Broad as an “effective and hardworking member for Mallee”.
Senator Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News, hypocrisy is not unique among many in federal politics.
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