NO. No. End of Story.'''
With those words an angry Mal Brough has rejected calls by his arch rival Peter Slipper to stand down or be disendorsed by the LNP over this role in the James Ashby affair.
Mr Brough was told by Mr Slipper, during an ABC CoastFM interview with the Fisher candidates, that he was an 'unfit person' to stand given the 'facts' stated by Clive Palmer.
Mr Palmer said Mr Brough approached him to fund the James Ashby case to 'destroy Peter Slipper' - a claim Mr Brough has denied.
Mr Brough said Mr Palmer himself had contradicted a statement he had made to the Sunshine Coast Daily where he denied confirming an approach had been made.
Mr Slipper, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and current Independent MP, renewed his calls for Mr Brough to quit the election race in a media statement a short time ago.
"Given the very strong statement made yesterday by Mr Clive Palmer which confirmed that he had been approached by Mr Brough to fund the failed Ashbygate litigation which was thrown out of the Federal Court by Justice Rares as an abuse of process, Mal Brough is simply not fit to be a candidate for election".
"Mal Brough said to me that we needed to destroy Peter Slipper", Mr Palmer said at his media conference.
Mr Palmer added " To me it seemed there was no case at all against Mr Slipper… that it was something a court would entertain".
Mr Palmer also said Mr Brough asked him to employ a number of people believed to include my media officer, Karen Doane.
"Despite denials from Mr Brough to a local daily newspaper on Wednesday night, Mr Palmer was adamant that Mr Brough asked him to fund the case", said Mr Slipper.
"We don't want people in politics who are desperate to get there at any price" Mr Palmer said.
Mr Slipper said "The Liberal National Party is a party that usually demands high standards of its candidates and I call on the LNP to strip Mr Brough of his endorsement for Fisher if he fails to stand down voluntarily".
Earlier, Mr Brough confirmed he asked Clive Palmer to give Peter Slipper's media adviser Karen Doane a job.
In a press conference yesterday, Mr Brough also admitted he had a meeting with the billionaire at his Coolum resort and shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey also attended.
He also said James Ashby was discussed at the meeting.
But these are the only points of Mr Palmer's sensational claims which made headlines across the country Mr Brough agrees with.
He denied outright he had asked Mr Palmer to fund Mr Ashby's legal case and suggested Mr Palmer was looking to win votes ahead of the September 7 election.
He pointed to the "incredible inconsistencies" in Mr Palmer's story, highlighting previous news articles where Mr Palmer denied Mr Brough had approached him for funding.
"We are two weeks from polling day and Mr Palmer has decided his recollection has changed," Mr Brough said.
Mr Brough said he had approached Mr Palmer concerning giving Karen Doane a job as "she was a woman of great credibility in my eyes" and asked if he would consider employing her.
While Mr Brough was denying Mr Palmer's allegations, the sitting member for Fisher, Peter Slipper, was baying for his blood.
Mr Slipper said Mr Brough should step down or be disendorsed because of the serious allegations.
Mr Brough declined to comment on Mr Slipper's statement, but said "no one" from the LNP had approached him asking him to step down.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the comments from Mr Palmer were 'extraordinary'.
"These are very serious allegations indeed about Mr Brough.
"Mr Abbott needs to respond as to whether he thinks that Mr Brough is a fit and proper person to be the LNP candidate and to sit as a member of his caucus if he is selected by the people on 7 September.
"We already have a damning finding by Justice Rares of the Federal Court about Mal Brough's involvement in the Ashby issues and now we have confirmation from Clive Palmer, which needs a response from Mr Brough as a matter of urgency.
"He needs to clear up exactly what occurred because we all recall the fact that when Samantha Maiden from the Sunday Telegraph first raised these issues with Mal Brough, he told her that he had nothing to do with any of it.
"We then found out subsequently that indeed he organised too for Mr Ashby to meet with lawyers and that he was involved in these issues over a period of time.
"Justice Rares found in the Federal Court that this was a conspiracy to change the Government of Australia. This is a very serious issue.
When asked whether Mr Slipper had been hard done, Mr Albanese said: "I certainly think that in terms of Mal Brough's involvement with Clive Palmer either he has to repudiate Mr Palmer's very clear and unequivocal statements or he has got a real issue to answer.
"He needs to just be honest about what his involvement was."
The Daily tried to contact Opposition and LNP Leader Tony Abbott for comment yesterday, but received no reply to requests.
The Daily is again today sending a series of questions to Mr Abbott.
He was confident he would be "vindicated" in his dealings with the matter.
He said he had not sought to challenge Justice Rares judgment that Mr Ashby and Ms Doane worked "in combination with Mr Brough to cause Mr Slipper as much political and public damage as they could inflict on him".
This was because he "didn't have any allegations" against him in the actual court case.
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