Broad won’t contest next election over scandal
NATIONALS MP Andrew Broad, who is mired in a "sugar baby" scandal, will not contest the next election.
The Australian is reporting the new development as the fallout grows from New Idea's article yesterday, alleging Mr Broad, who is married, had used the website SeekingArrangement to meet younger women on work trips.
A woman identified as Amy, who used the alias "Sweet Sophia Rose" on the "sugar baby" site, told the magazine she had met Mr Broad for dinner at the expensive Aqua restaurant in Hong Kong.
Mr Broad has committed to immediately repay the $479.62 he spent on flights that were part of the trip in question.
Reacting to New Idea's story, he said Amy "may have engaged in criminal activity".
Meanwhile, Nationals leader Michael McCormack is under increasing pressure over his own response to the scandal.
Yesterday Mr McCormack told reporters he found out about Mr Broad's conduct two weeks ago, and advised the MP to refer the issue to the Australian Federal Police.
But the AFP said it had received the referral weeks before then, on November 8, and had since concluded there had been no illegal conduct under Australian Law.
Seeking Arrangement is a notorious website that promises to match men with younger women who are willing to spend time with them in return for money.
Earlier this year, news.com.au reported that more than 100,000 Australian university students had signed up to the site. It explicitly targets students, offering "relief" to those with large debts or HECS payments.
Amy told New Idea Mr Broad was "cocky" and "arrogant". The MP bragged about his position in parliament, and suggested he had booked a hotel room to "seduce" her in, despite the fact that she had put in her profile that she would not be intimate on dates.
"He kept grabbing my hand and putting it on his leg, so I excused myself and went to the bathroom and when I came back I told him I was leaving," she said.
Amy also suggested Mr Broad lied about his age and kept referring to himself as James Bond.
"I don't think someone like that should be in a position of power and making decisions for the country," she said.
"I think it's pretty strange and risky of him to send me photos of him on the news. It appears he wanted to show off and told me he was a very important person."
Mr Broad made headlines in 2016 after opposing same-sex marriage and comparing gay relationships to those between frisky rams.
"I think a bicycle is not a tricycle, and relationships can have different names," he reportedly told the Sunraysia Daily.
"I can put the rams in a paddock and they might mount one another, but no lambs will come out."
He also among the first to call for former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to resign his position after it was revealed the MP was expecting a baby with his former staffer.
"I need to know as a member of parliament that the person who is going to be the acting prime minister has got their mind on the job," Mr Broad said at the time.
"At this point in time it is not fit for Barnaby to … step up as acting PM".
A former cereal and lamb farmer, Mr Broad won the Nuffield Scholarship in 2006 to study agriculture in more than 40 countries. The 43-year-old is a former president of the Victorian Farmers Federation and former director of the National Farmers Federation.