The man accused of raping Brittany Higgins had burnt so many bridges that ministers refused to meet with him - here's why.
The man accused of raping Brittany Higgins had burnt so many bridges that ministers refused to meet with him - here's why.

Rape accused barred access to pollies over smear campaign

The man accused of raping political staffer Brittany Higgins had alienated so many of his former colleagues that he was barred from meeting NSW ministers when he began working as a lobbyist.

The former ministerial staffer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made "multiple" requests to meet ministers last year while working for a large private corporation.

However, the meetings never took place with senior staff for the ministers turning down the requests.

A parliamentary source said the reasons related to the man having "long standing conflicts" with his former party colleagues "over a number of matters".

These included allegedly leaking against the party and being part of a damaging smear campaign.

The smear campaigns left many of the man's colleagues fighting to clear their names.

On October 2018, the man sent an email to officials, announcing his resignation from the party.

There is no suggestion the ministers nor staff were aware of the alleged rape of Ms Higgins in March 2019.

"He caused so much trouble when he was a staffer that the door was shut on him when he tried to call in the favours," the source said.

"He briefed against the party, spread gossip and told lies. By the time he left the party, he had few friends other than this one particular group he continued to party with, but even they have now dumped him."

The man, who has checked in to a private clinic, has been stood down from the private corporation in the wake of the alleged rape case. The social media accounts of his close friends and family members have been deactivated.

Scott Morrison and Linda Reynolds. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Scott Morrison and Linda Reynolds. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

It is understood police are yet to speak to the man, who is a dual national.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday seized on a request from the AFP to require MPs to report possible crimes to authorities immediately.

The move follows Defence Minister Linda Reynolds failing to notify him of the alleged rape in her office, a decision Mr Morrison said he wished she had.

At the same time, Labor has challenged the plausibility of Mr Morrison and his office only finding out about the incident within the past two weeks.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, where Ms Higgins worked after the 2019 federal election, learned of the rape on February 5, but did not inform Mr Morrison or his office.

Ms Reynolds was discharged from Canberra Hospital on Friday, after being admitted for a pre-existing heart condition.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

Originally published as Higgins accused barred access to pollies over smear campaign



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