Leaked videos of staff from Australia’s conservative government performing sex acts in parliament, including one man masturbating over a female MP’s desk, left Scott Morrison’s administration facing yet another major scandal Tuesday.
The prime minister — already under pressure for his handling of sexual assault allegations including that a female government adviser was raped by a colleague — called the behaviour “disgraceful” and “absolutely shameful”.
The videos and photos, which had allegedly been shared in a group chat of coalition government staff before being leaked by a whistleblower, were first revealed by The Australian newspaper and Channel 10 late Monday.
The graphic images have prompted fresh outrage from female lawmakers and the Australian public, coming on the heels of the rape allegations that sparked mass nationwide protests.
The whistleblower, identified only as Tom, told the news outlets that government staffers and MPs often used a Parliament House prayer room to have sex, and alleged that sex workers had been brought into the building “for the pleasure of coalition MPs”.
He also said a group of staffers routinely swapped explicit photos of themselves and he received so many he had “become immune to it”.
He said there was a “culture of men thinking that they can do whatever they want” and while he did not think the staffers had broken any laws, “morally, they are bankrupt”.