An Australian state minister was forced to resign on Thursday, just three days into the job, after stripping down to his underpants and dancing at a parliamentary staff party.
Matt Brown quit as New South Wales police minister after admitting to behaviour ”not befitting a minister” during a late-night party at his parliamentary office in Sydney about three months ago.
Brown took off his clothes and danced on a green leather couch in his office wearing only ”very brief” underpants, the Australian newspaper quoted witnesses as saying.
”I’m a human being and I made a mistake and I’m going to cop the consequences of that mistake,” an emotional Brown told reporters after tendering his resignation.
”I’m talking about an incident in my office some three months ago during the budget sittings. As is the tradition with the Parliament, work colleagues get together to celebrate the budget.
”During that celebratory night, I behaved in a manner not befitting a minister. I spoke to the premier about this, and it was agreed that I would tender my resignation. It has been tendered. It is effective,” he said.
Brown (36) was state housing minister at the time of the incident.
He said he had not initially told new Premier Nathan Rees the whole truth about the incident because he was ”embarrassed”.
Rees said he asked for Brown’s resignation after he failed to tell him the full extent of what had happened.
”When pressed, he conceded late last night that there was substance to the initial assertion that had been made,” Rees told reporters. ”On the basis that he had been untruthful to me and that my credibility and the government’s credibility were on the line, I demanded his resignation.”
When he came to power six days ago, Rees had promised to ”end the soap opera” surrounding the state’s government and rebuild confidence in his Labor Party.
He conceded the revelations about Brown were unhelpful.
”Embarrassed doesn’t begin to describe it … [it’s] beyond even anger. This is just a gross disappointment,” Rees said. — Sapa-AFP