Aussie MP steps down over sex claims

The federal coalition government has been rocked by yet another Nationals sex scandal with Andrew Broad forced to step down as an assistant minister to the deputy prime minister.

An article in New Idea magazine on Monday alleged Mr Broad, who was served under Nationals leader Michael McCormack, used a website to meet younger girls while away on an overseas work trip.

A woman, named as "Amy", claimed she met the married 43-year-old in Hong Kong in November for dinner and he told her he was there for a "conference" but "shouldn't have been here at all".

The woman also claimed Mr Broad lied about his age, sent her numerous text messages that turned to a "more sexual nature" following the dinner and compared himself to "James Bond".

Mr McCormack said he had known about the matter for a couple of weeks and had urged Mr Broad to report the matter to the Australian Federal Police.

However, on Monday, the AFP said in a statement it had received Mr Broad's referral on November 8, six weeks earlier.

After assessing it, the AFP found "no applicable offences under Australian law".

Meanwhile, The Herald-Sun on Tuesday cited unnamed "senior Nationals" saying they fear the allegations could be the "tip of the iceberg" for Mr Broad, claiming at least three women had contacted the party in the past year.

These women made separate claims of "dalliances" with Mr Broad, dating back to 2015, the news outlet reported.

Mr McCormack is backing Mr Broad, the MP for the northern Victoria seat of Mallee, to continue to sit in the federal parliament, albeit on the backbench.

"I want to make sure that all of my ministers, all of my members are always doing the right thing. That's why I have accepted Andrew Broad's resignation," he told reporters on Monday.

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.

Mr Broad at the time called for Mr Joyce to step down as leader amid reports of his extramarital affair.

The MP is also said to have argued strongly against same-sex marriage during the debate in parliament, touting traditional marriage and religious freedom.

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