Disgraced ex-MP Andrew Falloon's parents 'shattered' over sex-text scandal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 1:50PM
National MP Andrew Falloon at Parliament, Wellington. (Photo / Jason Walls)
National MP Andrew Falloon at Parliament, Wellington. (Photo / Jason Walls)

Disgraced ex-MP Andrew Falloon's parents 'shattered' over sex-text scandal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 1:50PM

The parents of disgraced ex-MP Andrew Falloon are "shattered" over his sex-text scandal and are yet to speak to him.

John and Shirley Falloon - who live in Ashburton in mid Canterbury, in the heart of Falloon's old Rangitata electorate - have been rocked by this week's revelations.

John Falloon told the Herald today that he only knows what is being reported in the media.

"I haven't had a chance to have a yarn with Andrew yet," he said.

"He's not well at the moment and we're just seeing him through that."

John Falloon was confident that his son was getting appropriate support.

"We're just trying to keep him protected at the moment," he added.

"It's been pretty shattering. But life has these wee surprises."

Police likely to reopen investigation

National leader Judith Collins says police will likely reopen their investigation into pornographic material sent to young women by Falloon, after two more women came forward this morning.

"The police have made it clear to me, that with the pattern of [Falloon's] behaviour, that they will be most likely to be reopening the case."

This comes just hours after Falloon resigned as an MP, after Collins called for him to do so live on radio, and TV.

The now-disgraced ex-MP had previously said he would resign at the election, after news of him sending pornography to young woman hit headlines last night.

Since then, more women have come forward saying they too have received inappropriate material from Falloon – Collins said two have already been in contact with her office this morning.

Speaking to media this morning, Collins said she was "sorry to say I believe we are going to have more women come forward".

"If I've had two come into the office already this morning, there will be more."

She said she had "certainly had indications from people that they know of more" but would not elaborate.

Before Collins spoke to media, Newsroom quoted one woman who said she had received inappropriate messages from Falloon.

"He sent me unsolicited, explicit pictures more than once and then acted totally incoherently, as if he hadn't just dropped a nude into the conversation," the woman told Newsroom.

"He'd ask for them to be deleted to make it seem accidental, which made it really difficult to address because you'd just received an unsolicited picture and when you tried to ask him to stop he was incoherent and would feign innocence."

Police had looked into the initial incident but said the investigation "did not meet the threshold for prosecution" and no further action would be taken.

Collins said she would be making it clear to her MPs this morning that if they have anything they need to disclose – "They need to come and see me straight away".

The National leader said Falloon had told her that an acquaintance at a party sent the message to the first young woman while he was not looking.

She said this morning that it was clear that Falloon had lied to both her, the police and himself.

"There is a pattern of behaviour that now takes this out of an incident – a very, very unfortunate incident – into a pattern of behaviour."

Collins made the comments just moments before her first caucus meeting as leader today.

She told media that she would be advising her MPs that "the behaviour I expect in Parliament is what we would expect in a professional work environment".

"I am sure that most of the caucus, if not all of the caucus, is going to utterly agree with that."

Meanwhile, senior National MP Mark Mitchell said it was clear the public would not be happy with some of the behaviour they had heard about.

"We have to make sure we keep maintaining standards and when we do find out about this kind of behaviour, we act quickly."

National MP Chris Bishop said Falloon's "mistakes" did not mean National was a weak team.

"One person who has clearly made a series of mistakes over a period of time, unknown to the rest of the caucus, I don't think reflects on the rest of the team – it reflects on him."