Rape Claims Linked to Australian Parliament Widen With New Case

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Alarm about the workplace culture at Australia’s Parliament heightened on Saturday amid claims that a former government adviser accused of raping a junior female colleague in the building had sexually assaulted another woman.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was extremely distressed by a report of the alleged assault on the second woman, adding that a lot of work had to be done to change the workplace culture.

Morrison welcomed a decision by the first woman, former adviser Brittany Higgins, to now make a formal complaint with the Australian Federal Police about her alleged rape in the building in 2019. The case involving the second woman, a former staffer in Morrison’s Liberal Party, was not in Parliament House, according to The Australian newspaper.

Higgins’ allegations came after former lawmakers from the Liberal Party complained about workplace bullying in Parliament.

In 2018, former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop blasted behavior in Parliament that wouldn’t be “tolerated in any other workplaces across Australia,” while former lawmaker Julia Banks said bullying had driven her to decide to quit the legislative body.

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