Government staffer sent on “indefinite leave” for abusive text

Nationals party leader Michael McCormick has described a government staffer who sent an abusive text message to a journalist as being on “indefinite leave”.

The staffer sent a text to News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst after she published an article that was critical of LNP politician Barry O’Sullivan.

The Queensland politician has been demoted to an unwinnable position on the party’s senate ticket, and his political career is likely to come to an end at the next federal election.

O’Sullivan has made headlines in recent times after he made a derogatory comment about Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young. He also recently claimed he would be identifying as a woman.

The staffer responded to the article with a next that called the journalist a “vicious feminist c–t”, and wished her family to die of painful cancer.

The Nationals leader said the staff member had made an error and the text was not intended to be sent to Smethurst, and it’s contents were not referring to her. The staff member however would be taking up the opportunity to have some counselling and would be on indefinite leave while this process occurred.

In a statement deputy leader Bridget McKenzie said the language was unacceptable but did not represent the kind of language used by politicians or staff within the party.

OIP Staff



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