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NSW Liberal powerbroker Kent Johns is put on leave after Daily Mail Australia revealed the high-flying executive’s shocking ‘humping’ video

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A political powerbroker has taken a leave of absence from his local council job and been stood aside from another high-flying role after explosive footage emerged of him dry humping the air and ridiculing a gay colleague.

Kent Johns, considered an influential figure within NSW Liberal ranks, made the lewd remarks in October 2022, months after he lost an internal battle for an upper house seat.

On Thursday, he issued a statement revealing he is ‘taking a leave of absence from Sutherland Council’ as he ‘addresses the issues that caused me to make this extremely serious error of judgement’.

‘With a heavy heart, I acknowledge a lapse in judgement that has tarnished my commitment to the LGBTI+ community.

‘As a longstanding supporter of LGBTI+ rights, I’m deeply disappointed in my own behaviour.’

In addition to taking time off from his role as councillor, Daily Mail Australia can reveal Mr Johns has agreed to ‘step aside’ from his position as Head of Government Relations and Policy at the National Electrical and Communications Association.

A spokesperson said a review will be undertaken ‘into recent media reporting concerning his behaviour’. 

Mr Johns reached out to the colleague in question, Chris Rath, after Daily Mail Australia approached him about the nature of the video. 

Kent Johns, considered an influential figure within NSW Liberal ranks, made the lewd remarks in October 2022, months after he lost an internal battle for an upper house seat

Kent Johns, considered an influential figure within NSW Liberal ranks, made the lewd remarks in October 2022, months after he lost an internal battle for an upper house seat

He apologised both publicly and in private for the lewd remarks he made. 

The Sutherland Shire councillor had finished up at a taxpayer-funded work event in the Hunter Valley when the incident took place at an afterparty about 1am.

In the video, Mr Johns dry-humped the air in front of several other men, saying ‘stick it up my a***’ and ‘Rath is bad’, in an apparent reference to his gay Liberal colleague Chris Rath.

Mr Rath is one of two openly gay members of the Liberal Party in the NSW Parliament and recently proposed to his long-term partner in France

In audio which was less clear, Mr Johns said ‘I don’t like’, followed again by the word ‘Rath’.

At least one man is heard giggling in the background of the audio, while another makes a motion with his fist toward Mr Johns’ rear.

Sutherland Shire Councillor Kent Johns, considered a powerbroker within NSW Liberal ranks, made the lewd remarks in October 2022, months after losing a battle for an upper house seat

‘I seek forgiveness and pledge to uphold the values of inclusivity, respect and equality that define our community.

‘While I undergo the process of dealing with the underlying issues that led to the poor behaviour exhibited. I kindly ask for privacy.’ 

Mr Rath had a subtle response to the scandal on Wednesday, sharing remarks on X made by his colleague Jacqui Munro.

Ms Munro said: ‘Homophobia has no place in the Liberal Party or in politics. The crass behaviour of Councillor Johns must be staunchly condemned. I condemn it. 

‘It is unacceptable, damaging and not representative of the views of the local community or our party.’

When contacted by Daily Mail Australia, Mr Johns conceded: ‘It was a really stupid thing to say.

‘I was stupid. It was 1am in the morning… It was a really stupid thing to say.’

He later added: ‘It was years ago after a night out where I said some pretty stupid things, but it’s not the person I am.

‘I’m truly sorry.’ 

The mobile phone vision appears to have been filmed inside a hotel suite with several men present. 

Daily Mail Australia understands in addition to this footage, there are other audio snippets from the evening in question in which Mr Johns unleashed on other colleagues.

Former state Treasurer Matt Kean copped a spray and was described as a ‘piece of s***’ during the evening, The Australian’s Margin Call column reported on Tuesday. 

Mr Kean responded to that on Thursday, describing Mr Johns as an ‘unelectable and unacceptable candidate’.

The vision comes at an awkward time for Mr Johns, who is facing a local election battle in September. 

He twice served as Mayor and has 25 years of experience in local government. He was previously NSW Liberal Party vice-president and has served as Acting President.

At least one man is heard giggling in the background of the audio, while another makes a motion with his fist toward Mr Johns' rear

At least one man is heard giggling in the background of the audio, while another makes a motion with his fist toward Mr Johns’ rear



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