Sunshine Coast LNP candidate Mal Brough.
Sunshine Coast LNP candidate Mal Brough.

Mal Brough on James Ashby sex case: I’d do it all again

MAL Brough says he has no case to answer over the Ashbygate affair and said he would act the same if he had his time over again.

The LNP candidate for the seat of Fisher yesterday spoke to the Daily about the saga in what he said would be his final interview on the subject.

Mr Brough was implicated in the affair which led to current Fisher MP Peter Slipper resigning as Speaker of the House of Representatives after former staffer James Ashby brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Mr Slipper.

Federal Court judge Steven Rares dismissed the case as an "abuse of process" and politically motivated. He was damning of Mr Brough in his comments.

Mr Brough said he was concerned with Mr Ashby's well-being and has denied being part of a plan, as outlined by the judge, involving Ashby and media officer Karen Doane, to get Mr Slipper.

The former Howard government minister said that was the extent of his involvement and denied funding the legal action or having prior knowledge of the lawsuit.

The case is being pursued by online activists who are trying to unravel what they believe to be a political conspiracy.

The group, which operates the website Ashbygate.com, has hired two lawyers and a private detective and has raised more than $50,000 in donations.

>> Comment: Why LNP voters should have a good look at Ashby case

However Mr Brough dismissed the group as politically motivated crackpots and "the same sort of people that think man never landed on the Moon".

"There's no renewed interest," he told The Daily.

"There's one journalist who did a story.

"This (yesterday's LNP funding announcement for the Bruce Hwy) is what I'm interested in.

"I have no concerns whatsoever because what I did, I would do again. It's the appropriate thing to do to help people."

Mr Brough said he was confident Mr Ashby's case would be overturned by the Federal Court on appeal.


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