SYDNEY - An Australian lawmaker known for lampooning the government by dancing in parliament has been charged with shoplifting and assaulting a security guard, but has vowed to fight the allegations. Conservative MP Mary Jo Fisher is said to have stolen groceries worth almost Aus$100 ($108) from a supermarket last December and pushed a female security officer who tried to stop her leaving the carpark.
"In connection with an incident on December 15, 2010, the SA (South Australia State) police charged me on two matters," she said in a statement released late Friday. "I reject the charges and will vigorously defend them." Liberal party colleagues said she had been suffering from depression and had a panic attack in the supermarket when she realised she didn't have enough money for the groceries.
The court hearing is on September 1. Fisher shot to national fame in March when she ridiculed the government's climate change policies by doing a well-known children's dance, the "Hokey Pokey" in parliament. Footage of the incident went viral on the Internet.