Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised to the individual at the centre of an alleged incident at News Corp and others directly impacted for airing the matter during a press conference.
"I had no right to raise this issue and especially without their permission," Mr Morrison wrote on Facebook late on Tuesday night.
Earlier that day the Prime Minister pledged to ensure parliament "get this house in order" and improve the lives of women as more damaging revelations underscored weeks of intensifying pressure.
He reiterated that message on Facebook after women in politics criticised him for "weaponising" an incident at a media company as a defensive strategy.
"I meant what I said about having listened, and being committed to doing everything I can to make the changes we need to make to deal with these issues," Mr Morrison wrote. "I owe it to all women in this country, not least the women in my own life so precious to me. I owe it to them to do better."
He accepts News Corp's denials that it received a complaint, as he had alleged on Tuesday.
"I accept their account. I was wrong to raise it, the emotion of the moment is no excuse," Mr Morrison wrote.
Liberal MP Katie Allen says she backs the Prime Minister, but he was right to apologise.
The Prime Minister was facing a "very stressful situation of questioning where he was being questioned in a certain way", Dr Allen told ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday.
"What was unfortunate was the dialogue is ... not about the solutions for women. The dialogue is about a misstep in questioning and quite right, he has withdrawn what he said and that is absolutely right. He shouldn't have said what he said."
The Liberal MP went on to say women want to hear what is it that Parliament is going to deliver for them. "Let's move on," she said.
Responding to the reports of rape inside parliament, Dr Allen said she felt angry that the alleged perpetrator was someone she thought she had a respectful relationship with.
"I view all my interactions with him very differently now. I have nowhere for the anger to go because the perpetrator hasn't been named," Dr Allen said.
The unrelated incident raised by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, however, turned out to not be a case of harassment and no formal complaint was made.
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller on Tuesday afternoon denied it had received a complaint that an employee had harassed a woman in a female toilet, and that the company's human resources team had started investigating.
Mr Morrison made the claim in an exchange with a Sky News journalist at a press conference on Tuesday, as the Prime Minister faced questions over his government's handling of allegations that ministerial staffer Brittany Higgins had been raped inside Parliament House.
"Let's not all of us who sit in glass houses here start getting into that," Mr Morrison said at the press conference.
Mr Miller later said News Corp's HR team in recent weeks had learned of a verbal exchange between two employees in Parliament House last year about a workplace-related issue.
It was not of a sexual nature, did not take place in a toilet and neither person made a complaint. The HR team had written to one of the people and the matter had been resolved, Mr Miller said.
It was "simply untrue" that there had been an episode of harassment in a toilet that was under current investigation at News Corp, he said.
Mr Miller described Mr Morrison's claims as extraordinary and said they undermined the principle that people must be able to raise issues confidentially.
The Prime Minister flew out to flood ravaged areas in Queensland on Tuesday night and is expected to return to Parliament early on Wednesday.
"It is also of the utmost importance that I continue to focus on the needs of those facing our flood crisis, and continuing to lead our country out of the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession," he wrote on Tuesday night after having left for his overnight tour.
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