Outspoken Senator forced to retract Laming comments
An outspoken Greens Senator has been forced to apologise for comments made about Queensland LNP MP Andrew Laming, after the soon-to-be retired MP lawyered up over allegations he photographed a woman's bottom.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, via a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, corrected the record regarding comments she had made about Dr Laming on national TV in the aftermath of allegations he had taken a photo of a young woman bending over in a skirt.
But the woman had been wearing shorts and the photo was taken from a distance, therefore it didn't meet the legal definition of "upskirting".
The incident was reported to police but the investigation dropped after detectives determined there was "no evidence to indicate a criminal offence".
In light of the accusations, Dr Laming lawyered up, engaging the same top defamation specialists as former Attorney-General Christian Porter.
It is understood a legal letter from his lawyers, Sue Chrysanthou SC and Rebekah Giles, sparked Senator Hanson-Young's retraction.
"I had understood from reports in the media that Mr Laming had taken a photo of a young woman bending over in a skirt. On Saturday May 1st, I made comments on the Today Show that reflected these reports," Senator Hanson-Young wrote.
"I have since been informed that the police received a complaint that the woman was in fact wearing a pair of shorts, not a skirt.
"I stand corrected, and I apologise."
This comes hours after Dr Laming, in his first appearance in parliament since going on leave to undertake empathy training, reneged on an earlier promise to immediately resign from all parliamentary positions.
He claimed he was the victim of character assassinations and that his conduct toward women had been misrepresented.
Dr Laming said in March he would resign from all parliamentary positions with immediate effect.
But on Tuesday he refused to resign as chair of a parliamentary committee on employment, education and training, which adds about $22,000 to his annual salary.
Dr Laming also defended taking the photograph of the woman.
"An utterly, utterly entirely appropriate and innocent workplace photograph with no offence found whatsoever after police investigation has been characterised as lewd," he said.
Originally published as Outspoken Senator forced to retract Laming comments