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Brough in Labor firing line on Slipper case

Brough in Labor firing line on Slipper case

Sun June 17, 2012 3:49pm

LABOR has ramped up its attack on Mal Brough and his involvement with the man who has made sexual harassment claims against parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper.

Mr Brough, who is seeking preselection from the Liberal National Party to run for Mr Slipper's seat of Fisher at the next election, says he has done nothing wrong.

The Federal Court of Australia will subpoena Mr Brough's text messages and email contact with James Ashby, the staffer who claims he was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper, who stood down from the LNP to take up the position of Speaker.

The government has argued in court Mr Brough is implicated in ulterior motives behind Mr Ashby's sexual harassment claims.

Late last week Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said there would be many Queensland LNP identities, including Mr Brough, mentioned during the course of the federal court hearings.

On Saturday, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese joined the attack, comparing the case to the Watergate scandal in the US because information was passed on to a journalist about Mr Slipper to undermine him.

A break-in to the Democratic Party National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Complex in Washington DC in 1972 ultimately led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Mr Brough said he was contacted by Mr Ashby on the eve of the Queensland election in late March and learnt of the allegations of sexual harassment over the course of the following week.

He says he has nothing to hide and has told his lawyers to contact the government's lawyers and hand over the text messages and emails immediately to expedite the case.

Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson said it was "rubbish, absolutely rubbish," that Mr Brough had nothing to hide.

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