The sexual harassment lawsuit bringing former Speaker Peter Slipper to his knees headed to federal court today containing fresh charges against the Commonwealth Government.

The plaintiff said the case should be tried by a jury as a matter of urgency but the presiding judge poured cold water on these suggestions.

Bonny O’Shea reports.


The media blitz continues as lawyers of Mr Slipper’s ex-staffer James Ashby say he’s not only been sexually harrassed he’s also been victimised by the federal government.

Almost two weeks ago, Senator Barnaby Joyce described him as “only slightly less dodgy than Slipper”.

Minister Carr said he thought Mr Ashby seemed rehearsed.

And he’s questioned Tony Abbott’s involvement in the entire circus.

Bob Carr, Foreign Affairs Minister: “Make it a serious complaint about a serious issue. Don’t create a political firestorm. I think the only questions here have to be answered by Tony Abbott. Was Tony Abbott part of discussions that elevated this?”

The Opposition leader remained ever-diplomatic.

Tony Abbott Opposition Leader: “Neither Bob Carr nor Barnaby Joyce should have been running a commentary on the matter.”

The Government maintains in making his startling public allegations Mr Ashby bypassed up to six other avenues to work out the issues he had with his boss.

And the Foreign Minister doubts the latest charge will fly in court.

Bob Carr, Foreign Minister: “I think in Australia and around the world there is a lot more serious cases of infringement of human rights than this.”

Combined with the ongoing Craig Thomson scandal the case against Mr Slipper has the Gillard Government’s reputation in tatters.

Bonny O’Shea, QUT News.