NSW loses another MP to sexual assault allegations.
The NSW government has been forced further into minority after it lost its second MP in as many months to sexual assault allegations.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward on Thursday night stepped aside as a minister after naming himself as the politician under investigation for "sexual violence-related offences" dating back eight years.
Police are investigating the allegations, which reportedly took place in 2013, they confirmed on Thursday.
NSW Liberal MP and minister for families Gareth Ward has released a statement:— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 13, 2021
“I have not been contacted by Police in relation to any allegations. I deny any wrongdoing.”
But he and Premier Berejiklian confirm he will stand aside as minister and from Liberal party room pic.twitter.com/ap7hKKOK34
In a statement on Thursday night Mr Ward denied any wrongdoing, and said he had not been contacted by police.
"Today I have been made aware by a journalist of an investigation into me by NSW Police," he said in a statement.
"I have not been contacted by police in relation to any allegations.
"I deny any wrongdoing."
However, Mr Ward said he would step down as the minister for families, communities and disability services and remove himself from the Liberal Party room while the investigation is ongoing.
Mr Ward's move to the crossbench means the coalition government is three MPs short of a majority, with former sports minister John Sidoti also sidelined amid a corruption inquiry.
Indian repatriation flights to resume tomorrow.
Flights from India are due to resume on Saturday, following a pause to allow the Howard Springs quarantine facility to catch its breath.
The Qantas flight due into Darwin on Saturday morning is expected to have around 200 repatriated Australians on board, who will do two weeks of quarantine at Howard Springs.