The Senate was brought into disrepute today by Leader of Government Business and Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator AJ Nicholson.
The senior Cabinet Minister and experienced parliamentarian made a disparaging reference to Opposition Senator Marlene Malaloo-Forte wanting to be be raped.
The remark was made while Senator Malaloo-Forte was making her contribution to the debate on the Flexi-work legislation.
The comment enraged the members of the Opposition who demanded that the Foreign Affairs Minister withdraw the offensive remark.
The President of the Senate, Floyd Morris, lamented the uproar noting that today was one of his most difficult days in the upper house of Parliament.
During Senator Malahoo Forte’s presentation on the flexi work bill, Senator Nicholson asked if what she was agitating for was ‘flexi-rape.’
The Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, was not amused.
He asked Senator Nicholson to withdraw the comment.
Senate President Floyd Morris demanded that Senator Nicholson, despite his protestations, withdraw the comment.
The Senate President said today was one of his most difficult days in the chamber.
And reacting to the incident in the Senate this morning, opposition Senator, Kamina Johnson Smith, says she was horrified by Minister Nicholson’s behaviour.
Senator Johnson-Smith says even after withdrawing the comment, Minister Nicholson still appeared unrepentant.
She also lamented the absence of any objection from female Senators on the governing side of the house.
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, speaking with Nationwide News.