An Australian politician is in hospital after collapsing in Federal Parliament yesterday (Thursday) during an impassioned speech.
Chris Hayes, the Labor MP for the New South Wales seat of Fowler in Western Sydney and opposition chief whip, became ill while he had the floor to discuss child sexual abuse.
He was speaking about his cousin’s experience of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church when he became visibly upset and collapsed. He clutched at his chest and fell back into his chair.
Doctor MPs rush to his aid
Various members who were in the house at the time rushed to his assistance, including Dr Mike Freelander from the Labor Party and Nationals MP Dr David Gillespie. Both are medical doctors. Other politicians also assisted the stricken parliamentarian until help arrived.
Federal Labor Leader, Anthony Albanese, said 65-year-old Hayes had been taken to hospital and was in good spirits and had recovered quickly. However, he was being kept overnight for tests.
“Can I thank Dr Freelander and Dr Gillespie who rushed up to the Federation Chamber to provide assistance and all those members on both sides who acted with care and with compassion,” he stated.
“I said to the chief opposition whip if he wants leave he should just ask for it, there are easier ways to get it than what occurred this morning but I look forward to getting him back in this chamber.”
PM sends his good wishes
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, also took the opportunity to wish Hayes a speedy recovery.
“We may disagree on many things in this place, but we all agree Chris Hayes is a very good bloke,” Morrison said.
“And many of us know Bernadette [his wife] as well; she has been a welcome person here around this place for many years … our prayers are with you.”