‘I make the rules and you follow them’: Senior member of the government MP is forced to apologize for trolling two women – one claims hiding in the bushes and taking photos of her in a public park
- Liberal MP Andrew Laming has been forced to apologize to two women in Brisbane
- Both women had accused the federal politician of abusing them on social media
- Dr. Laming has expressed “ public unconditional apologies ” and “ sorry ” in parliament
A high-ranking federal government member of parliament has been forced to apologize against two Brisbane women who accused him of trolling them on Facebook.
Andrew Laming admitted that his social media commentary had caused significant problems for two “ highly regarded individuals ” of his Bowman electorate after being knocked down by Scott Morrison.
The Facebook exchanges led to allegations of defamation, stealing and stalking, with one of the women claiming she felt suicidal.
Mr Laming apologized to both women in writing and during a speech before Parliament after being brought in to Mr Morrison’s office.
“His comments were unacceptable to both women and the prime minister,” said a spokesman for the prime minister’s cabinet.
“Every Australian has the right to feel safe online and Mr. Laming is committed to changing his online communication practices.”
Liberal MP Andrew Laming (pictured) forced to apologize to two Brisbane women who accused him of online abuse
Mr Laming said on Thursday that he acknowledges that his comments about Alix Russo and Sheena Hewlett have caused them great distress.
“I would like to express my regret and my deepest apologies for the pain and distress the communication may have caused,” said Mr Laming.
“I want to retract those comments and offer a public, unconditional apology.”
The underhanded Liberal National Party, which is regularly criticized for his behavior and comments on social media, acknowledged that he had lessons to learn about his word usage.
“I have made a concerted effort to understand the impact of these responses on others and demonstrate a marked change in the way I communicate,” he said.
“I want to say to anyone who has received correspondence from me that does not meet what they expect from a Member of Parliament that I intend to internalize that failure and apologize without hesitation.”
Mr. Morrison had demanded that Mr. Laming stop using social media to troll the women.
“At the request of the prime minister, Bowman’s member has offered an unconditional public apology,” said a spokesman for the prime minister’s cabinet.
In a Facebook post, Mr. Laming accused Ms. Russo, a single mother, of embezzling money at a homeless charity.
Mr. Laming accused Alix Russo (left) of embezzling money at a homeless charity, while Sheena Hewlett (right) said she was forced to contact the police after claiming Mr. Laming was in the bushes and took pictures of her in a public park.
A statement by Mr Laming on Thursday, in which he issued ‘an unconditional public apology’
‘You cannot be trusted with others’ (sic) money. That’s why your organization is drying up, ‘Mr Laming claimed on Facebook.
In another post, Mr. Laming wrote, “Thankfully they all left you and started an alternative charity. Unfortunately for you I make the rules and you follow them. ‘
Ms. Russo said she was outraged by the comments directed against her that left her suicidal.
“I want to be alive, I don’t want to be attacked anymore,” she said Nine news
‘This man has to stop. He cannot continue to abuse his community in this way. ‘
Ms. Hewlett said she was forced to contact the police after claiming that Mr. Laming hid in the bushes and took photos of her in a public park, which were later posted to Facebook.
Ms. Hewlett, a teacher, also claimed that Mr. Laming had called the school where she works, asking what her work schedule is.
“I certainly fear my family,” said Mrs. Hewlett.
Both women had publicly begged Mr. Morrison to intervene to stop the online abuse.
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