Andrew Laming escapes police action after allegedly taking inappropriate photo of woman

Pressure is mounting on the prime minister to expel disgraced backbencher Andrew Laming from the coalition.

Dr Laming is accused of taking an inappropriate photograph of a woman while she was bending over, as well as harassing two female constituents.

The woman involved in the photograph incident has lodged a formal complaint with Queensland police.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said Dr Laming’s position in the coalition party room was untenable.

He compared the circumstances to the handling of rape allegations against NSW state MP Michael Johnsen.

Johnsen was booted from the coalition when the allegations came to light.

Turnbull said the same approach must be taken towards Dr Laming.

“It’s pretty obvious that he should be sitting on the cross bench,” Turnbull said.

“His behaviour is so out of order.”

“We have had minority governments before in Australia. He can manage,” Labor senator Kristina Keneally said.

“This is a prime minister that is putting his own power and his own political survival ahead of the principle and the right thing to do.”

Dr Laming took the inappropriate photo in 2019 as the woman bent over at a landscaping supply business with her underwear exposed.

He has not denied taking the photo without the woman’s consent but says there was nothing untoward.

Dr Laming is also under fire after admitting to bullying, stalking and harassing various women over several years.

The 54-year-old has been given a month of paid medical leave to seek counselling and empathy training.

But he intends to rejoin the coalition party room upon his return and remain in parliament until the next election.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Dr Laming should not wait until the next election to resign.

“Andrew Laming should go from federal parliament, let alone continue to sit for the next year in the Liberal party room,” he said.