Australian minister resigns over alleged website date on Hong Kong trip

Broad will remain on the government backbench. (Twitter)
Updated 17 December 2018
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Australian minister resigns over alleged website date on Hong Kong trip

  • Morrison’s minority government must return to the polls by May 2019, with opinion polls strongly favoring the opposition Labor to easily win the election

SYDNEY: An Australian government lawmaker on Monday resigned from Cabinet over a media report he used a website to meet a younger woman while on a Hong Kong work trip — overshadowing the government posting the best financial outlook in 10 years.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said he accepted the resignation of Andrew Broad after New Idea Magazine ran an interview with a woman who alleged she met the married Broad at a Hong Kong restaurant last month.
“Due to the nature of the allegations made, it is appropriate for Mr.Broad to resign as the assistant minister to the deputy prime minister,” McCormack said in an emailed statement. Broad will remain on the government backbench.
A spokeswoman for Broad did not immediately respond to requests for comment. New Idea published Broad saying: “This matter has been reported to the Australian Federal Police and I will not be making any further comment.”
New Idea ran an interview with a woman called Amy, who alleged Broad maintained a profile on a website, which it said was used by wealthy, older men to meet younger women, but it did not name the website.
It said Amy was 20 years younger than Broad.
Amy said she agreed to meet Broad at the Hong Kong Restaurant for dinner but left because she did not like his behavior, New Idea reported.
Broad’s resignation came just hours after the government forecast the strongest budget outlook in 10 years, arming Prime Minister Scott Morrison with a war chest large enough to allow for possible tax cuts ahead of an election in less than six months.
Morrison’s minority government must return to the polls by May 2019, with opinion polls strongly favoring the opposition Labor to easily win the election.


British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

Updated 14 min 18 sec ago
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British lawmaker calls for Asma Assad to be stripped of British citizenship 

  • The MP of the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship
  • Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians

A prominent British politician has called for Asma Assad, the British wife of the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, to be stripped of her UK citizenship. 

The foreign affairs spokesman of the centrist party, the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake, wrote to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, urging her to use her powers to deny Asma Assad of her citizenship after her social media posts in support of her husband’s regime.

 “The first lady of Syria has acted not as a private citizen but as a spokesperson for the Syrian presidency... Boris Johnson has urged other countries to do more about Syria, but the British government could say to Asma Assad, either stop using your position to defend barbaric acts, or be stripped of your citizenship,” Brake was cited by British daily the Guardian as saying.  

Asma used social media to support her husband’s leadership after a global condemnation of his alleged role in a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

She posted a message saying: “The presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that what America has done is an irresponsible act that only reflects a short-sightedness, a narrow horizon, a political and military blindness to reality and a naive pursuit of a frenzied false propaganda campaign.”

Conservative MP, Nadhim Zahawi, also joined the call to revoke her British nationality, calling Asma “very much part of the propaganda machine that is committing war crimes.”

Asma was born and raised in London to Syrian parents and left the UK in 2000 to live in Syria where she married Assad.