Rape allegation against Federal Labor Member of Parliament sent to Australian Federal Police

AAP
VideoScott Morrison is facing increasing pressure to respond to historical rape allegations against one of his cabinet ministers.

Both major federal parties are facing rape allegations against a man in their ranks after police were provided an email from a woman who claims she was raped by a serving Labor MP.

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson on Sunday evening revealed she had sent the email to the Australian Federal Police.

“I forwarded to the Australian Federal Police an email I received (Sunday) afternoon from a woman alleging she has been raped by a man who is now a Federal Labor Member of Parliament,” she posted in a statement on Twitter.

Ms Henderson said she passed on the email in line with advice from the head of the AFP, who last week urged all MPs to swiftly report alleged criminal misconduct.

The AFP confirmed they received a complaint relating to an historical sexual assault but would not comment further.

It comes as Scott Morrison faces increasing pressure to respond to historical rape allegations against one of his cabinet ministers.

The prime minister, Labor senator Penny Wong and Greens senator Sarah Hanson- Young received a letter on Friday alleging the sexual assault took place in 1988 against a woman who took her own life last year.

That letter is in the hands of the AFP.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said it was up to the prime minister to consider what to do with the cabinet minister at the centre of the allegations.

Mr Albanese said the allegations needed to be investigated appropriately and not politically managed.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in, calling for a coronial inquiry into the woman’s death.

Speaking at a Writers’ Week event in Adelaide on Sunday, Mr Turnbull revealed the woman had written to him and his wife Lucy in December 2019 seeking their advice.

“She described a pretty horrific rape that she said had occurred at the hands of this person, a person she said is now in the cabinet,” Mr Turnbull said, describing the allegation as incredibly serious.

“One of the things she noted, I might say, is that she’d kept extensive diaries. She mentioned that she had a lawyer and was talking to the NSW police.”

This development comes after a parliamentary sitting fortnight that was dominated by an alleged sexual assault on a then Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins by a male colleague.

Other women have also come forward accusing the same man of attacks on them.

Quizzed by journalists, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the AFP commissioner had made it clear these were matters for the police and strongly discouraged commentary.

Four inquiries are under way, including a multi-party investigation aimed at ensuring parliament is a safe working environment.

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails