Ex-minister unworried by Australian sexual harassment case
In a legal action gripping Australian politics, former Howard government minister Mal Brough says there is nothing to come out of a court hearing that will embarrass him.
The Federal Court is hearing of sexual harrassment allegations against the Speaker of parliament, Peter Slipper.
The case has been brought against Mr Slipper by former staffer James Ashby.
Mr Slipper's legal team has argued the allegations were designed to boost Mr Slipper's Liberal National Party opponents, including Mr Brough.
Commonwealth lawyers have told the court they have phone records to support their argument of a calculated political campaign against Mr Slipper.
They allege Mr Ashby gave information to Mr Brough and to News Limited journalist Steve Lewis.
Mr Brough says he has not been subpoenaed by the Federal Court, but he is happy to provide information about phone records the court is seeking.
He has told the Channel Ten network there is nothing to come out that will embarrass him.
"To suggest that myself or any member of the LNP has been part of . . . a conspiracy, that is an extraordinary allegation," he said.
"That we conspired to concoct a story about sexual harassment is really beyond belief."
Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon yesterday said the case against Mr Slipper was politically motivated and an abuse of process.
Mr Brough has been outside politics since losing his seat in the 2007 election.
There has been speculation that he is planning to run for Mr Slipper's Queensland seat at the next federal election.
Mr Slipper defected from the Liberal National Party late last year in a deal which made him Speaker. He currently holds the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher as an independent.