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Pay up or else: MP’s ‘Sugar baby’ texts revealed

The woman at the centre of the "sugar baby" political scandal gave shamed federal MP Andrew Broad less than 24 hours to pay up in return for her silence, according to a text message exchange.

The Herald Sun can also reveal Mr Broad told Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack he was willing to quit the front bench five weeks before the scandal broke.

The Herald Sun has seen a text message exchange between the Victorian MP and Hong Kong-based Irish nat­ional Amy Keating after their meeting at the exclusive Aqua restaurant in Hong Kong.

 

 

 

Disgraced Nationals MP Andrew Broad. Picture: Gary Ramage
Disgraced Nationals MP Andrew Broad. Picture: Gary Ramage

"I have all your seedy messages and will go public with more story if you don't transfer the allowance of 8000 HKD ($A1450) into my PayPal account … by the end of the day," one message said.

"And believe me, I'm fully aware of how much more I could get if I went public to the papers with my story."

Ms Keating said Mr Broad had made her feel "uncomfortable" and she "didn't feel like I could be myself" and was "happy to leave" the dinner.

The Herald Sun understands Mr Broad did not pay and accused Ms Keating of attempting to blackmail him.

The Nationals MP reported the incident to the Australian Federal Police on November 8, following a conversation with Mr McCormack.

The AFP found it was unable to take any action against Ms Keating because it lacked jurisdiction.

Andrew Broad Nationals MP stepped out with wife Rachel after the scandal broke. Picture: Jason Edwards
Andrew Broad Nationals MP stepped out with wife Rachel after the scandal broke. Picture: Jason Edwards

 

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Ms Keating has been contacted for comment.

It is understood Mr Broad admitted the next day that he had most likely broken the ministerial code of conduct and would resign if the Deputy PM thought it necessary.

Mr Broad, who has since decided not to contest the next federal election, has told friends that his "stupid conduct" had destroyed his life and he "has a lot of faith to rebuild with his family".

The revelations also raise new questions about the government's handling of the situation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he only learned of the incident when the story was published on December 17.

Details differ between the Coalition partners over who knew what: the National Party is adamant the PM's Office was told in advance.

Mr McCormack said last week he did not "tell the Prime Minister everything about every member of parliament".

rob.harris@news.com.au

Hong Kong-based Irish nat­ional Amy Keating.
Hong Kong-based Irish nat­ional Amy Keating.


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