Brittany Higgins partner David Sharaz leaves job, speaks about alleged rape

Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ partner has been forced to resign from his job over fears that the Morrison Government will punish the company he works for by scrapping government contacts.

Former press gallery journalist David Sharaz, who worked for Sky News and SBS before joining a media monitoring company this year, said he accepted he could no longer remain in the role.

Mr Sharaz said his bosses had been supportive and given him time off last week to support Ms Higgins but he accepted that his job, which involves seeking government contracts, was no longer tenable.

In exclusive claims to news.com.au last Monday, Ms Higgins alleges she was raped by a colleague in a minister’s Parliament House office in March 2019.

Ms Higgins claims she was forced to choose between her job and seeking justice.

Mr Sharaz said his decision to resign had “no regrets” for standing by Ms Higgins and supporting her fight for justice.

“I have absolutely no regrets in choosing to support my partner and I will continue to do so,’’ he told news.com.au.

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Being supportive is the least that I – or any other partner of a victim-survivor can do.

“Brittany – and many others deserve better.”

The fallout means that both Ms Higgins, who quit her job earlier this month before telling her story and her partner Mr Sharaz are both unemployed as a result of her going public with her harrowing account of rape at Parliament House.

Last week, Ms Higgins accused the Morrison Government of backgrounding against her partner, who also briefly worked for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for around three months last year.

Mr Sharaz recently referenced the fallout on his personal Twitter account.

“Let’s take a moment to praise the strong women backing Brittany Higgins,’’ he tweeted.

“Thanks to those journalists who wouldn’t put up with the Prime Minister’s office publicly supporting her while privately backgrounding to hurt her loved ones.”

Last week, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said he was “unaware” of claims the Prime Minister’s Office engaged in “grubby” tactics after an alleged rape inside Parliament House, but is certain Scott Morrison would have “no tolerance” for the behaviour.

Network Ten chief political editor Peter van Onselen told the ABC on Thursday staffers in the PMO had engaged in a “grubby” campaign against the man.

“The Prime Minister’s Office has been backgrounding that her now partner has a vendetta, or a gripe might be the better way to put it, against the government because of him being a former public servant,” he said.

Labor Senator Jenny McAllister raised the claims in the Senate on Thursday, asking: “Will the Prime Minister investigate the claims that his staff backgrounded journalists against Ms Higgins? If the claims are proved, what consequences will there be for this conduct?”

Mr Birmingham said he had “no awareness of any such activity being undertaken”.

“I will take those matters up with the Prime Minister. I am certain that he has no tolerance for such activities,” he said.

But Mr Morrison faced heckles from several Labor backbenchers demanding he “stop the backgrounding” against Ms Higgins’ partner.



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