NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) she had a “close personal relationship” with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire, currently facing allegations of corruption. The news this morning caused the nation to immediately spit out a mouthful of whatever it was collectively drinking.
While the full implications of this revelation are yet to be seen, Berejiklian becomes the latest in a list of politicians whose close personal relationships have made for embarrassing headlines. Let’s take a quick look back.
Barnaby Joyce (2018)
Fresh from derailing the government with his citizenship issues, Barnaby Joyce went on to derail the government with his relationship issues. In early 2018, we got confirmation of the long-rumoured relationship between Joyce and his ex-staffer Vikki Campion.
The very public scrutiny contributed to him losing his job as deputy prime minister and necessitated the completely workable and not embarrassing “bonk ban”.
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Paula Wriedt (2008)
The Tasmanian cabinet minister’s scandal was like the cover of a romance novel: a clandestine extramarital affair with her ministerial driver.
Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans (2002)
Crikey owes much of its early notoriety to being the first to reveal (scooping Laurie Oakes) in 2002 that Australian Democrats defector Cheryl Kernot and Labor’s Gareth Evans had an affair around the time she defected to the Labor party.
Andrew Broad (2018)
Nationals MP Andrew Broad quit politics after revelations he had used a “sugar daddy” dating site on a partly taxpayer-funded trip to Hong Kong. Among other things, he sent sexts that will curl your toes until they snap clean off.
Bob Woods (1997)
Liberal Senator Bob Woods was a real “take your pick” scandal magnet. The Sydney Morning Herald once memorably described him as a “much-married and hugely reckless NSW Liberal senator with, clearly, a political death wish”.
His 1997 resignation — citing family reasons — came in the midst of allegations of serial rorting. A former lover added some spice by later saying that Woods had boasted he would claim taxpayer money to fund their holiday in France as a wine and cheese “study tour”.