Chief Minister Michael Gunner has reportedly gone into self-isolation after feeling unwell during Bombing of Darwin ceremonies this morning, as his leadership faces its biggest test yet over a growing sex and drugs scandal.
The NT News reported that a “spokesman” for Mr Gunner confirmed the Chief Minister had felt fine yesterday and even this morning, but became unwell during the ceremony and “out of an abundance of caution” went into self-isolation and was tested for COVID-19.
The self-imposed quarantine comes at a chaotic time for Mr Gunner as he faces questions about his knowledge of the cocaine sex scandal engulfing his party, with calls from the Opposition and an independent MLA for his resignation over his handling of the matter.
The Opposition accused the Labor Government of attempting to cover up the scandal, “witness tampering” and “perverting the course of justice” after the NT Independent revealed Blain MLA Mark Turner asked his mistress to lie about the nature of their relationship after she had revealed it on radio Wednesday morning. NT Police are investigating the allegations surrounding the cocaine sex scandal.
It also appeared Mr Turner was working with someone in government to coax the woman to lie in the hours before he admitted the affair on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday night.
Mr Gunner booted Mr Turner from caucus on Thursday for acting “dishonestly about his relationships and interactions with others” and accepted the resignation of a senior fifth floor staffer caught up in the scandal. He insisted neither man had done anything illegal.
But his office has refused to explain who in government may have been working with Mr Turner to persuade his lover to cover up the extra-marital affair.
Mr Gunner attempted to deflect questions about the cocaine sex scandal last Sunday after allegations were made public by saying he was too busy dealing with COVID-19 to address the matter.
Earlier on Friday, Gunner Government ministers were cancelling planned media events.
In January 2020, Mr Gunner had heart surgery after suffering a heart attack.