Lisa Wilkinson calls out Prime Minister Scott Morrison on The Project over Andrew Laming allegations

Lisa Wilkinson has blasted Scott Morrison for allowing a disgraced Liberal MP accused of abusing two women on social media to stay in Parliament.

The Project host derided the Prime Minister for the decision and accused him of showing no empathy during a passionate address on Sunday night’s program.

‘One of the coalition’s scandal-ridden MPs is stepping away from politics, and the fact we even need to specify which one it is shows how dire things are for the government,’ Ms Wilkinson said.

‘Let’s hope whoever is in charge of Laming’s empathy training isn’t the same team in charge of Scott Morrison’s empathy training because we all know the taxpayer funded bin-fire that‘s turned out to be.’   

Queensland MP Andrew Laming harassed two women on Facebook and has been accused of photographing a woman bending over without her consent.

He has confirmed he will not be contesting the next election, but will continue to stay in Parliament until then.

If Mr Laming were to leave straight away, it would leave the government in a minority. 

Host on Channel 10’s ‘The Project’ Lisa Wilkinson slammed Scott Morrison on Sunday night

Coalition MP Andrew Laming harassed women on social media but will remain in Parliament

Coalition MP Andrew Laming harassed women on social media but will remain in Parliament 

The LNP member for Bowman has admitted to trolling two women on social media – which one said left her on the brink of suicide.

He has also been accused of taking a photo of another woman who accidentally showed her underwear while bending over.  

Despite the allegations, Mr Laming has not been asked to step aside but said he will not re-contest his seat at the next election. 

Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud denied Mr Laming was just retaining his position because it would throw the government into minority if he was kicked out.

‘With respect, I don’t think that’s the case. It’s about making sure we do the right thing,’ he told the Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Mr Laming will see out his term in Parliament until the next election. 

‘His behaviour has been absolutely unacceptable,’ Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday. 

‘[But] he was elected by representatives and constituents of his community to support them in the parliament – that is what the coalition does.’  

Mr Laming (pictured) has been accused of 'trolling' women on social media

Mr Laming (pictured) has been accused of ‘trolling’ women on social media

Brisbane woman Crystal White (pictured) said Mr Laming photographed her underwear

Brisbane woman Crystal White (pictured) said Mr Laming photographed her underwear

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Laming had said he would step down from all parliamentary roles to undergo counselling.

‘The common thread of the last week has been not demonstrating anything close to understanding how my actions affect others. I intend to own those mistakes,’ he said.  

Screen grabs of Mr Laming's now-deleted Facebook post i

Screengrabs of Mr Laming’s now-deleted Facebook post in which he used laughing face emojis after an apology he made to Alix Russo and Sheena Hewlett in parliament

He is due to return to parliament on May 11 when the budget is handed down. 

Brisbane mum Crystal White accused Mr Laming of snapping a picture of her bottom and exposed underwear while she put drinks in a fridge at a landscape supply business in 2019.

‘The photo was really inappropriate, especially when I was bent over,’ Ms White told Nine News. 

Sean Blinco, who was working at the time, said the store manager forced Mr Laming to delete the photo and questioned the MP over the 2019 incident on social media. 

‘Remember that time you took a photo of an employee bending over at local landscaping yard, you perve? We had to force you to delete it before you left the store. We remember,’ he wrote on Facebook. 

‘I do but it wasn’t meant to be rude. I thought it was funny but your reaction was awkward,’ Mr Laming replied. 

‘In this climate – I willingly apologise – I didn’t even know what for at 4pm when I did it,’ he wrote on a Facebook post, which has since been deleted.    

Mr Laming accused Alix Russo of misusing charity funds

Sheena Hewlett said Mr Laming hid in the bushes and took photos of her in a public park

Mr Laming accused Alix Russo (left) of misappropriating funds at a homeless charity, while Sheena Hewlett (right) said she was forced to contact police after claiming Mr Laming hid in the bushes and took photos of her in a public park

Mr Laming was forced to apologise after telling charity worker Alix Russo on Facebook, ‘Unfortunately for you, I make the rules and you follow them.’ 

The single mother said trolling by Mr Laming left her suicidal.

‘I want to be alive, I don’t want to be attacked anymore,’ she said. 

‘This man has to stop. He cannot continue abusing his community like this.’

Mr Laming’s social media response to his own apology was accompanied by several laughing emojis – which he claimed were accidentally posted by his phone when he put it in his pocket, news.com.au reported. 

Queensland Labor MP Kim Richards has since come forward claiming Mr Laming ‘weaponised social media to attack women’.

‘It’s just been constant. I blocked him years ago for my own mental health,’ she said.

‘The character assassination, the personal nature of the way he’s posting, is harassing and bullying by its very existence.’ 

Ms Richards said locals in Redlands have been left ‘fearful’ of Mr Laming due to his conduct online. 

A spokesman for Mr Laming rejected Ms Richards’ claims about the MP’s online behaviour as his social media accounts post about political issues in the electorate.

Queensland Labor MP Kim Richards (pictured) came forward claiming Mr Laming 'weaponised social media to attack women'

Queensland Labor MP Kim Richards (pictured) came forward claiming Mr Laming ‘weaponised social media to attack women’

A schoolteacher said she complained about Mr Laming (pictured) several times

A schoolteacher said she complained about Mr Laming (pictured) several times 

Schoolteacher Sheena Hewlett said Mr Laming asked for her teaching timetable then hid in bushes while taking photos of her in 2019. 

The incidents were reported to police. 

Ms Hewlett has said she complained about Mr Laming ‘countless times’ both under Mr Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, The Australian reported.  

Mr Laming apologised for causing Ms Russo and Ms Hewlett distress in a speech in Parliament on Thursday. He also apologised to the women in writing.

It came after being hauled into the PM’s office, conceding his social media commentary had caused significant distress to two ‘well regarded individuals’ of his electorate.

‘His comments were not acceptable to both women and also to the Prime Minister,’ a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said.

‘Every Australian has the right to feel safe online and Mr Laming has made a commitment to change his online communication practices.’  

A statement issued by Mr Laming on Thursday, where he issued 'an unreserved' public apology

A statement issued by Mr Laming on Thursday, where he issued ‘an unreserved’ public apology

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