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Statement by the Speaker, Parliament House, Canberra

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House of Representatives #######################

Sunday 29 April 2012

Statement by the Speaker

“Following certain allegations which included both a claim of criminal behaviour and a claim under civil law being made against me by Mr James Ashby, I issued a Statement both strenuously denying the allegations and undertaking to step aside while the criminal allegation was resolved,” Mr Peter Slipper MP said.

“The criminal allegation has been shown to be a fabrication and there is no longer any reason to step aside.

“Since having the honour of being elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives I have introduced reforms which have improved the esteem and functioning of the Parliament. More though remains to be done and I am looking forward to continuing this work.

“I believe however it is imperative that the dignity of the Parliament be upheld and for this reason when the House resumes its sitting on 8 May, I will make a short statement to the House and then invite the Deputy Speaker to take the chair as Deputy Speaker.

“This will avoid what could be a controversial debate on the floor of the Parliament, which would not assist the standing of the Parliament.

“I reject the allegations which have been made against me and look forward to resuming my role in the Chamber at a future time.”

Issued by: Andrew Dawson, media manager, International & Community Relations Office on behalf of the Speaker’s Office, Parliament of Australia Tel: (02) 6277 2063 wk, 0401 143 724 mob.