MP slams ‘smear campaign’ over ‘seedy’ trips
FEDERAL MP George Christensen claims he is the victim of a "disgusting smear campaign" pedalled by both a Labor MP and a former senior government member.
It was reported yesterday that a government MP had made frequent trips to "seedy" parts of Southeast Asia, causing the Australian Federal Police to become concerned he could be subject to blackmail.
But Mr Christensen has blatantly denied the claims today, insisting any trips he made to Asia were to meet with his Filipino fiancee and her family, and also for philanthropic purposes.
"All the innuendo is false," Mr Christensen told News Corp.
"Apart from jaywalking or speeding, I have never, in my entire life, committed a criminal offence either in Australia or overseas."
Mr Christensen insisted he had travelled to the Philippines to visit his fiancee and her family several times since 2017 and had sent her money, while also helping to raise funds for a charity providing disabled children with wheelchairs.
News Corp Australia yesterday alleged the unnamed government MP had sent money to multiple accounts in the region, with checks revealing he was visiting "dangerous" neighbourhoods "notorious for prostitution and drugs".
The federal opposition said yesterday it was "extremely concerned" by reports the MP could be open to blackmail over their frequent trips to parts of Southeast Asia.
Speaking before Mr Christensen issued his statement, shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the government had to come clean as to how much it knew about an AFP investigation.
"If it has been raised with a senior minister in the government or, as I would suggest the Prime Minister, they need to make clear what exactly has occurred here," Mr Dreyfus said yesterday.
Mr Christensen said he had never been interviewed by the Australian Federal Police, claiming they told him there was no evidence or information to support allegations made against him.
"I have confirmation in writing from the Australian Federal Police that someone made an allegation to the AFP about me, even though they 'had no direct knowledge of the conduct' they were alleging," Mr Christensen posted to Facebook.
"This whole matter is vile and defamatory, and impacts not only me but my fiancee and my loyal staff who have been abused and threatened because of this putrid smear campaign.
"I have been informed that the person who made the fake allegation to the AFP was a Labor MP and that they have been trying to spread this defamatory gossip about me to the media for a long time."
News Corp reported today the investigations into his conduct had in fact begun several months before the Labor Party referral to the federal police.
Regardless of the timeline, Mr Christensen insisted he will resort to legal action if need be.
"I will not be making any further comment on these lies and smears for now," he shared on Facebook. "And those seeking to defame me will be contacted by my lawyer."