Sanctus – Parliament House was in a state of shock today as a former aide of recently-resigned New Sanctaria Party Leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Andrew Silk MP publicly accused the conservative politician of a prolonged period of sexual harassment and, on at least one occasion, sexual assault. The aide, a former legislative staffer, made on the claims on popular Sanctarian radio talkshow Dawnbreak earlier this morning.
Silk’s resignation as NSP leader over the weekend was very sudden and no clear reason given, leading many politicians and commentators alike to wonder aloud whether or not he knew this accusation was forthcoming. The erstwhile popular MP is known for his staunch conservative beliefs, both economically and socially, and was vocal in last year’s state elections about the importance of the family unit, and the important of marriage. The claims made today are not only very serious, but politically speaking, embarrassing.
The aide, a Mr. Jorge López, has claimed that Silk purposefully grazed his posterior area and, on one occasion at least, touched his groin area in a purposefully suggestive manner. Mr. López also alleges that Silk text him many times asking to go for drinks after work, alone, and his tone in the messages was provocative and flirty. López, a member of the NSP and formerly the SCP, told Dawnbreak that he does not identify as homo- or bisexual, and that he had told Silk this, but that Silk continued to make suggestive comments on subsequent occasions, particularly after he had been drinking. The aide also claims that whenever he complained to Silk, he was told to “man up, it’s only a bit of fun” and was twice told he had to be “discrete” about what Silk called his “jokes”.
Silk, who has been married to his wife for the last fourteen years and has two young children, denies that his interactions with López were inappropriate, and says that he is investigating legal recourse against López’s “damaging” claims. For his part, Jorge López has said he is telling the truth, and has made an official complaint with the Sanctarian Federal Police, as the alleged harassment and assault predominantly took place in Parliament House or its surrounding office buildings.
JOEY SESSIONS, Political Editor and ADAM KING, Crime & Justice Correspondent