The LNP issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Mr Brough, who denies he acted inappropriately and intends to contest next year’s election.
The LNP issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Mr Brough, who denies he acted inappropriately and intends to contest next year’s election. Warren Lynam

Labor 'hyperventilating' in Brough disendorse calls: Hockey

THE Coalition is standing behind Mal Brough as the Government continues to call for him to be sacked as the Liberal National Party's candidate for Fisher.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey rushed to Mr Brough's defence on Thursday, a day after Justice Steven Rares threw out James Ashby's sexual harassment case against former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper.

Justice Rares judged Mr Ashby's claim was an abuse of process and politically motivated.

He was critical of the role Mr Brough played in preparing the claim, with the former Howard government minister's name appearing 100 times in the 76-page judgment.

But Mr Hockey accused the Labor Party of "hyperventilating" in calling for Mr Brough to be disendorsed.

"Mal Brough will be our candidate in Fisher and the people of Fisher will decide whether they want to have Peter Slipper as their representative in Parliament, whether they want to have Mal Brough as their representative in Parliament or they can vote Labor and end up with someone else," Mr Hockey said.

The LNP issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Mr Brough, who denies he acted inappropriately and intends to contest next year's election.

Mr Hockey also spoke about a meeting he had with Mr Brough on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year, before the sexual harassment suit was lodged.

He said Mr Ashby's court action was not discussed.

"When I met with Mal Brough - as I have met with Mal Brough on numerous occasions - this matter has not been discussed, it has never been raised with me," Mr Hockey said.

"I found out about it, like the rest of Australia, on the Saturday when it was published in the newspapers."

He said the government should return Mr Slipper to the Speaker's chair if it thought Mr Slipper was "a man worthy of public acclaim".

Senior government ministers were out in force again on Thursday claiming the Coalition had "questions to answer" over the matter.

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese said it was "nothing less than a conspiracy".

"Tony Abbott and the Coalition are pretty good at calling out members of the government to give full explanations," Mr Albanese said.

"Well, Mal Brough should get on a plane, go to Canberra, face the full press gallery for as long as they have questions and answer those questions."

Mr Albanese repeated the government's claim that Mr Brough's position as the LNP's candidate for Fisher was "untenable".

He also said a number senior Coalition figures needed to "come clean" about what they knew.

No members of the Federal Opposition were named in the judgment.


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