Briggs, Brough gone as Turnbull clears out Cabinet

SOUTH Australian-based minister Jamie Briggs has quit Malcolm Turnbull's front bench after a late-night incident involving a female public servant in a Hong Kong bar.

Sunshine Coast MP Mal Brough, who is at the centre of an Australian Federal Police investigation, has also stood down as Special Minister of State, Mr Turnbull announced.

Mr Briggs admitted his behaviour had not met the "particularly high standards required of ministers".

The public servant raised concerns about "the appropriateness of my behaviour towards her at the venue", Mr Briggs said in a written statement.

Nothing illegal has been alleged or occurred, he said, saying it was at no point his intention to act inappropriately, News Corp reported.

Mr Briggs said the incident happened after a dinner with his chief-of-staff, to which several other officials were invited and one female public servant agreed to attend.

"At the conclusion of the dinner (which I paid for personally) we went to a popular and as it transpired very crowded bar for drinks during which we interacted between the three of us and with others in what I believed, at the time, was an informal manner," Mr Briggs says in the statement.

"At the conclusion of the evening, the public servant left to return home and my Chief of Staff and I returned to our hotel together.

"At no point was it my intention to act inappropriately and I'm obliged to note for the record that nothing illegal has been alleged or did in fact occur."

The married father of three, said he had apologised directly to the public servant involved.

Mr Briggs was handed the Cities and Built Environment portfolio by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in September.

He previously was the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Mr Briggs has had an interesting few months.

He confessed he sustained a knee injury on the night of the Liberal leadership spill after he tried to tackle Tony Abbott at a party.

Mr Briggs had originally claimed he suffered the injury while running.

Mr Briggs told Macquarie Radio he hurt his knee during "hijinks" with the former prime minister on the night of the spill.

"Well, look, I went to tackle him, I ran at him and missed, and the rest is history," Mr Briggs said.

"Everyone knows that Tony Abbott is a very fit man, he's a very strong man and I'm not at the peak of my powers as far as fitness is concerned.

"I then limped back to the office and licked my wounds."

Now, it seems he has more wounds to lick.



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