Opposition legal affairs spokesman Senator George Brandis says he doesn’t believe taxpayers should have to pay for parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper’s legal bills, or be exposed to any damages payment.
“I think that if the Commonwealth were conducting itself in the way it ought to, it ought to be seeking an indemnity against Mr Slipper for any liability,” Senator Brandis told ABC Radio.
“But of course the government won’t do that because in order to do that, it would have to stop defending him,” Brandis said.
A former male aide is taking action against the Commonwealth and Slipper for sexual harassment and seeking compensation for “stress, humiliation and illness”.
Brandis dismissed suggestions the aide had received support from the Liberal-National Party in framing his case against Slipper.
“There is absolutely no reason to believe that the aide’s proceedings are other than bona fide,” he told Sky News.
“There are evidently particularised allegations supported in some instances by lengthy exchanges of text messages.”
Slipper has denied all allegations.