Date
23 March 2017
Without going into details, Jamie Briggs admitted that his "behavior has not met the particularly high standards for ministers". Credit: heraldsun.com.au
Without going into details, Jamie Briggs admitted that his "behavior has not met the particularly high standards for ministers". Credit: heraldsun.com.au

Australian minister resigns after Hong Kong bar ‘incident’

Australia’s Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs, has stepped down from the government after a female public servant complained about his behavior in a Hong Kong bar during a recent official visit.

Briggs said on Tuesday that he was resigning in the wake of questions raised about his conduct on a night out in Hong Kong, Reuters reported.

“I’ve apologized directly to her but after careful reflection about the concerns she raised and the fact that I was at a bar late at night while on an overseas visit, I have concluded this behavior has not met the particularly high standards for ministers,” he was quoted as saying in Adelaide.

Briggs, who was promoted to the front bench by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year, said nothing illegal had been alleged, but declined to comment in detail about the incident, the report said.

According to Australian media, the incident took place when Briggs, his chief of staff and the unidentified female public servant went to a crowded bar in Hong Kong at the end of a day’s official business.

The exact nature of the complaint is not known.

Turnbull, meanwhile, said a second minister, Mal Brough, was also standing aside while police investigate his role in revelations about a political rival that were leaked.

“In offering to stand aside Mr Brough has done the right thing, recognizing the importance of the government maintaining an unwavering focus on jobs, economic growth and national security,” Turnbull was quoted as saying in a statement.

The ministers’ duties will be taken up by other ministers.

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