Michael Johnsen quits parliament: Barilaro

Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen quits parliament after sexting, rape allegations: Barilaro

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Michael Johnsen

Michael Johnsen

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The deputy premier said on Wednesday he had "welcomed" the Upper Hunter MP quitting the parliament.

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MICHAEL Johnsen has quit NSW Parliament, Nationals leader and deputy premier John Barilaro says.

Mr Barilaro issued a statement at midday Wednesday confirming the Upper Hunter MP had acquiesced to calls from all sides of politics for him to leave the state's leadership.

His resignation triggers a byelection in the Hunter seat he held by 2.2 per cent at the last election.

"My message to the people of the Upper Hunter is I will always put integrity before politics, which is why I called for Mr Johnsen's resignation," Mr Barilaro said in a statement.

"I want to say to the communities of the Upper Hunter that I am sorry, but please be assured the NSW Nationals' focus has always been, and will always be, on delivering for the Upper Hunter and keeping our communities safe and secure."

Mr Johnsen outed himself as the subject of a rape allegation after Labor MP Trish Doyle raised the incident, which allegedly occurred at a Blue Mountains lookout in 2019, under parliamentary privilege.

NSW Police confirmed they were investigating, prompting Mr Johnsen to shift to the crossbench.

This week his position became "untenable" in the eyes of colleagues after the ABC aired allegations that the Upper Hunter MP had sent sexually explicit messages during parliament, including an offer of money for a woman to come to Macquarie Street for sex.

More to come.

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