Alan Tudge has stepped down from his position as the Education Minister in the Morrison Government following the announcement of an investigation into alleged abuse from his former media adviser.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that Tudge has resigned from his portfolio and relayed to parliament that the former minister refuted Rachelle Miller’s — who was Tudge’s former media adviser — recent claims. It was also revealed that Morrison’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will be presiding over the investigation which has been described as “independent”.
Vivienne Thom, the former Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security will be reviewing into whether Tudge has breached the ministerial code as part of the investigation.
In a press conference at Parliament House today, Miller spoke to a statement on the allegations.
“It took a long time to face the truth about what happened but the memories are clearly etched in my brain.” Miller said.
“This relationship was defined by a significant power imbalance, it was an emotionally, and on one occasion, physically, abusive relationship.”
Last year, Miller exposed an affair on the ABC’s Four Corners program between the pair. Subsequently, in a formal complaint to the Department of Finance where she alleged bullying and abusive behaviour by Tudge.
The investigation occur just days after the 450-page Jenkins Report or Set The Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces was published in response to revelations of sexual harassment by figures such as Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins earlier this year.
It is understood that Tudge will continue to contest in the upcoming Federal Election which is widely anticipated to be in the first half of 2022. Meanwhile, Employment Minister Stuart Robert has been appointed to replace Tudge as Education Minister.
Tudge’s portfolio presided over significant cuts with over 17,000 staff redundancies in 2020 and personally called for withholding SSAF allocations that participated in activities deemed “overtly political” and which “impeded free speech”.