Slipper sex case may be 'expanded'

Member for Fisher Peter Slipper.
Member for Fisher Peter Slipper.

STOOD aside Speaker Peter Slipper could face wider claims against him despite a former staffer not proceeding with claims that he misused taxi vouchers.

James Ashby has dropped the references to the alleged misuse of taxi vouchers in his latest filing with the Federal Court.

However, a spokesperson for Mr Ashby has told media the decision was made only because the claims were the subject of an Australian Federal Police criminal investigation against Mr Slipper.

"We believe it is important that the formal criminal investigation into Mr Slipper, previously announced by the AFP, be allowed to proceed independently of the civil action being taken by Mr Ashby,'' a spokesperson said.

"Mr Ashby continues to provide assistance to the AFP, as a witness, in their criminal investigation.

"Also, by continuing to include the cab charge issues in the civil action, once a formal criminal investigation is underway, could be detrimental to Mr Ashby's civil claim, by significantly delaying it until the conclusion of the potential criminal matters.

"We can also announce that Mr Ashby proposes, based on existing information, to significantly expand the scope of his claim against the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper after the process of Legal Discovery is complete."

News.com.au was reporting this morning that more former staff members of Mr Slipper are considering making claims of sexual harassment against the long-standing Coast MP.

In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court this week, Mr Ashby accuses Mr Slipper of treating his female and heterosexual staff better than gay men who worked for him.

Mr Ashby said he had suffered "offence, humiliation, distress, anxiety and stress" including "physical symptoms" because he "was required to work in a sexually hostile working environment".

A directions hearing will be held in Federal Court in relation to Mr Slipper on Friday.

Topics:  james ashby, peter slipper, police, politics



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