Nationals leader David Littleproud and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton have called for Senator David Van to resign from parliament after he was expelled from the Liberal party room in the wake of sexual harassment accusations made by Senator Lidia Thorpe.
Senator Van has vehemently denied the allegations and criticised the Liberal Party's response, but pressure is mounting for him to step down.
On Thursday, Senator Lidia Thorpe accused Senator Van of sexual harassment during emotional statements on the parliamentary floor. Responding swiftly, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton held a press conference to announce Senator Van's expulsion from the Liberal party room.
The following day, Dutton stated that it would be in everyone's best interests if Senator Van resigned from parliament entirely.
Joining the call for resignation, Nationals leader David Littleproud emphasised that as Senator Van was elected as part of the Liberal Party, he should vacate his Senate seat since he no longer sat with the party.
"(If) you're going to resign from the party, you weren't elected as an individual. You're elected above the line for the party itself. (Mr Van) wants to remove himself from the Liberal Party, and then he should probably also remove himself from the Senate."
In addition to Senator Thorpe's accusations, former Liberal senator Amanda Stoker came forward, revealing that Senator Van had groped her twice at a party in Parliament House in 2020.
Senator Van denied all allegations and expressed his dissatisfaction with the Liberal Party's handling of the situation, leading him to resign from the party over concerns of due process and natural justice.
During the incident, Senator Thorpe described her former colleague's actions as harassment and sexual assault, which Senator Van vehemently denied. She further elaborated on her allegations, highlighting that the encounter occurred in a stairwell with no cameras and was witnessed by staff and fellow members of parliament.
While Senator Van condemned Senator Thorpe's use of parliamentary privilege to air her accusations without legal consequences, Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie supported Senator Thorpe, stating that parliamentary privilege was an essential part of democracy and a means to raise matters of public interest.