No comment from Ashby on allegations

JAMES Ashby has refused to comment in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with two 15-year-olds boys.

ABC's 7.30 Report revealed on Monday night that Queensland police were investigating the claims made against Mr Ashby, who is suing Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper over claims he was sexually harassed while working for the Speaker.

Public relations expert Anthony McClellan, who has handled Mr Ashby's media since he launched the court action against Mr Slipper in April, took to Twitter on Tuesday in response to media inquiries.

"We have no response to @abc730 story last night," the tweet read.

The story revealed Mr Slipper had been contacted by a young man who claimed he had a sexual relationship with Mr Ashby in Townsville nine years ago.

He was 15 at the time and Mr Ashby was in his mid-20s.

The man furnished Mr Slipper with emails and Facebook messages as proof of the relationship.

Those messages included a claim Mr Ashby had ended the relationship when he became involved with another 15-year-old boy.

Mr Slipper wrote to Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson in June, including the messages in the correspondence.

Queensland police said while it was investigating the claims, the matter was unlikely to proceed unless one of the boys filed an official complaint.

Having sex with a minor carries a maximum jail sentence of 14 years in Queensland.

Both sides of politics were taking a cautious approach to the matter on Tuesday.

Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan described the allegations as "extremely serious".

He would not be drawn on whether the claims discredited Mr Ashby, saying only that "they should be investigated by the responsible authorities".

Senior figures within the Federal Government, including Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, have been critical of Mr Ashby since April.

The Commonwealth, which is also being sued by Mr Ashby, failed in its attempt to have the matter thrown out of court on the basis it was an abuse of process.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the allegations against Mr Ashby were a matter for police, but should have no bearing on the matter before the Federal Court.


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