The Peter Slipper saga continues, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard declaring she has no regrets about recruiting the former Coalition MP as Federal parliament’s speaker.
It comes as both sides of parliament look to distance themselves from the controversy.
Dwayne Monteiro reports.
She’s out of the country, but Julia Gillard cannot escape the controversy surrounding Peter Slipper.
Speaking in Singapore, the Prime Minister looked to distance herself from the embattled Parliamentary Speaker, who is facing criminal investigation over allegations he misued Cabcharges.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Mr Slipper would be now making arrangements in relation to answering these allegations.”
The Gillard Government has been rocked by the loss of Slipper, with independent MPs Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon looking to bring poker machine reforms back to the negotiating table.
Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says it’s unlikely taxpayers will have to foot the bill for Peter Slipper’s legal costs.
Nicola Roxon, Federal Attorney-General: “I certainly haven’t been asked, but I am not aware of any arrangement having been made that his costs are being covered.”
Slipper also faces civil claims following allegations of sexual misconduct toward Coalition staffer James Ashby in 2003.
Tony Abbott denies that Mr Ashby recieved any Coalition assistance in making the claims, as well as stating that no formal complaints about Slipper’s behaviour had been made toward the Howard government.
Tony Abbott, Federal Opposition Leader: “To the best of my knowledge, no one in the coalition had specific knowledge of this until they read the newspapers.”
As the fallout continues, it seems no one is willing to take the blame.
Graham Richardson, Political Commentator: “Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party have to own up to this bloke, from 2003, when these allegations were surfacing, they endorse him again and again.”
Dwayne Monteiro, QUT News.