Australian minister suspended after staffer accuses him of ‘physical and emotional’ abuse

After a former government staffer accused an Australian cabinet minister of emotional and physical abuse, the minister has been removed from his post, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, adding that the government is investigating the matter.

Former government staffer Rachelle Miller had on Thursday accused education and youth minister Alan Tudge and had said that during their relationship in 2017, the minister had harassed her emotionally and physically.

While talking to the media, Ms Miller had said that the relationship was not only emotionally abusive but on one occasion I had also faced physical abuse and the relationship was defined by power imbalance.

She had also alleged that the minister had kicked her until she fell out of bed onto the floor when she had to answer a work call at around 4 am. “The minister became arrogant after getting disturbed from his sleep due to the phone call”, she said.

The minister, however, has denied the allegations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Mr Tudge has agreed to leave the position until the allegations are probed by some officials in an independent and fair manner.

The Prime Minister also said that the allegations made by Ms Miller are serious and this matter of concern should be resolved in a fair manner.

However, the allegations and suspension of the minister came two days after a high-profile inquiry committee found that 51% of the staffers working in Australia’s federal parliament had experienced one or other form of sexual harassment or assault.

The inquiry report into the ‘Parliamentary workplace culture’ had revealed on Tuesday that one in the three people working in Australia’s federal parliament has experienced sexual harassment.

 

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