Bill Shorten says he was the Labor figure investigated for sexual assault.

ALP leader Bill Shorten.






Labor leader Bill Shorten has revealed he was investigated for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in the 1980s.

The Opposition Leader denied any wrongdoing, saying there was “absolutely no basis for the claim”.

“I will not go into the details, except to say that the allegation was untrue and abhorrent,” he said.

“The allegation was made by someone that I knew briefly at that time.”

The Australian reported this morning that a senior Labor figure was alleged to have raped a teenager in the early 1980s at a camp organised by the Vanguard movement of the Victorian Young Labor Party. The investigation was set up after the alleged victim made a complaint to police in October 2013, according to The Australian.

Mr Shorten was 19 at the time of the alleged incident.

Mr Shorten opened up about the claims this afternoon after Victoria Police  today issued a statement saying it had investigated claims of a historical sexual assault.

The statement said: “Investigating police sought advice from the office of public prosecutions, which advised there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.”

“All parties have been notified that Victoria Police will not be proceeding with criminal charges.”

Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, Mr Shorten said the process had been painful for his family, but that the claims had fully investigated thoroughly and vigorously.

“I freely answered all the questions that the police asked of me. Now the police investigation is concluded, I can make this statement,” Mr Shorten said.

“The easy option would be to say nothing, but that is not who I am,” he said.

“This has been deeply distressing for my family. I’m thankful for the love and support of Chloe and the support of my staff and parliamentary colleagues.”

Bill Shorten’s full statement:

“Late last year I learned that a claim had been made about me, going back to when I was 19. It was made on social media when I was elected Opposition Leader.

I will not go into the details, except to say that the allegation was untrue and abhorrent. The allegation was made by someone that I knew briefly at that time. There is absolutely no basis to the claim.

The claim has now been thoroughly and vigorously investigated by the police as is entirely proper. I fully cooperated to clear my name and that is what I’ve done.

I freely answered all the questions that the police asked of me. Now the police investigation is concluded, I can make this statement.

The easy option would be to say nothing, but that is not who I am. I want to address this myself directly.

This has been deeply distressing for my family. I’m thankful for the love and support of Chloe and the support of my staff and parliamentary colleagues.

Others who are aware of the investigation have acted with the utmost integrity by leaving the police to do their job. 

The police have now concluded the investigation. The decision speaks for itself. It is over. I have no intention of making any further comment. I’m happy to take questions.”

[post_snippet id=324408]