Woman who confronted embattled MP after he took a sneaky photo of her flashing her underwear while bending down takes her complaint to police
- Woman who accused an MP of taking ‘up-skirt’ photo makes a police complaint
- She alleged Andrew Laming snapped picture while she was bending over at work
- The Liberal MP has also been accused of harassing women over social media
A woman who accused embattled MP Andrew Laming of taking an ‘up skirt’ photo of her as she bended over at a fridge has made a formal statement to police.
Crystal White started the complaints process at Cleveland police station, east of Brisbane, on Monday after alleging Mr Laming photographed her bottom as she stacked a bar fridge for a Queensland landscaping supplies company in 2019.
The MP is under fire over female harassment scandal but will remain in the Coalition party room until the next election.
Crystal White (pictured) has made a formal police report about MP Andrew Laming
MP Andrew Laming (pictured) has been accused of taking a photo up her skirt
‘I’ve documented the incident for now,’ Ms White told 9News after visiting the police station.
Witness and Ms White’s colleague Sean Blinco also made a statement to officers.
‘I’m just here to tell my version of events and just here to support Crystal,’ he said.
Taking a photo up a person’s skirt is a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.
Ms White previously called the photo ‘really inappropriate.’
Mr Blinco has said his manager also saw the MP take the picture and forced him to delete it.
Sean Blinco (pictured) said he witnessed the incident and made a statement to police
Ms White said the MP took a photo of her underwear as she was restocking a fridge in 2019
Mr Laming claimed the photo attempted to show someone trying to fit an impossible amount of stock into a fridge.
‘The purpose of the photograph was to show sometimes at work you have these Herculean tasks put to you and she was playing a game of Tetris trying to get every possible can in the fridge,’ he told ABC radio.
‘All I can do is apologise unreservedly because taking a photo of someone without asking first is a fundamental principle that an MP should be able to adhere to.’
Mr Laming has also admitted to harassing two women on Facebook, which one said made her consider suicide.
He apologised in Parliament last week, but later appeared to retract the apology in a radio interview and claimed he was just asking the women ‘tough questions.’
‘If they don’t answer those questions you’d expect those questions to be asked again and again,’ Mr Laming said.
‘It’s much easier sometimes to provide an answer to the question. That wasn’t happening and now of course it’s been reinvented into harassment.’
The embattled MP will stay in Parliament until the next election, which he will not recontest
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is staring down internal calls for Mr Laming to be booted out of the Liberal Party as the government clings to power by a threadbare majority.
Mr Morrison said the Queenslander had committed to undertaken a behavioural course.
‘He needs to come back with a completely different attitude and completely different behaviour,’ the Prime Minister told reporters.
Minister for Women Marise Payne described Mr Laming’s response as the minimum.
Liberal senator Sarah Henderson broke ranks to call for Mr Laming to be booted from the coalition, which would plunge the government into minority.
‘It’s a matter for him as to whether he wants to leave the Liberal Party. I am uncomfortable about him sitting in the party room,’ she told the Seven Network on Monday.
Mr Laming accused Alix Russo (left) of misappropriating funds at a homeless charity, while Sheena Hewlett (right) said she was forced to contact police after claiming Mr Laming hid in the bushes and took photos of her in a public park
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, who has added women’s safety to her role, would not say whether she would be happy for the disgraced MP to return to the coalition.
‘Let’s see whether Mr Laming understands the impact of his actions because I think he needs to understand that before he returns to the party room,’ she told the ABC.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government’s each-way response was not good enough.
‘There is no role for Andrew Laming in the Parliament with this history of abusing people and trolling people and bullying and belittling people and potentially criminal issues at play,’ he said.