Australian MP Andrew Laming says he is stepping aside from duties to undertake cultural sensitivity training after allegations of harassing women online.
Two women accused him of slandering them, with one saying it had left her feeling suicidal.
PM Scott Morrison had ordered Mr Laming, a backbencher in his Liberal Party, to apologise in parliament for his “disgraceful” behaviour.
Mr Laming has not stepped down as an MP.
Any decision that sees him go will have consequences for the government, as it could cost Mr Morrison’s coalition its parliamentary majority.
In his statement, Mr Laming said: “I will step down from all parliamentary roles effective immediately and complete both the counselling courses I committed to; as well as additional clinical counselling, and ask for privacy while that is completed.” He said he would have “more to say on my future” after his awareness training.
The episode is the latest challenge to Mr Morrison’s government, in a month when a series of rape, misconduct and sexism allegations have rocked Australian politics.
The prime minister has faced mounting pressure over his response to the allegations and broader cultural problems within politics.
Last week, tens of thousands of people marched in protests against the mistreatment of women in Canberra and wider society.
News Source: BBC News