James Ashby affair: What Mal Brough says happened
MAL Brough has challenged the media and his opponents to find one shred of evidence supporting the assertion he conspired with James Ashby, Karen Doane and a News Ltd journalist to bring down Peter Slipper.
An exasperated Mr Brough threw down the challenge as he faced more questions about his role in the affair during an ABC Coast FM election debate, where Mr Slipper asked him whether he should stand down as a candidate or be disendorsed.
"No. No. End of story," was Mr Brough's reply.
The LNP candidate for Fisher told the Daily he met Mr Ashby three times to offer assistance after he came to him with sexual harassment allegations against Mr Slipper.
He said he did not have an ongoing role and did not pass on Mr Slipper's diary entries or introduce Mr Ashby to any journalist or anyone in the media.
Mr Brough confirmed he received two pages of Peter Slipper diary entries via text but said he never passed them on.
The LNP candidate refused to criticise the Federal Court judge's findings against him but said he had never been part of the court process nor given the opportunity to make a submission.
"Nothing here I have done is wrong," he said.
Mr Brough said he had never said there was a case against Mr Slipper, instead urging Mr Ashby to ensure he was 'sure of his facts'.
He pointed out Mr Slipper had taken Mr Ashby to court to ensure the case did not go ahead.
"Mr Ashby has not had his case heard at all.
"Mr Slipper took Mr Ashby to court... to try to prevent it from occurring and Mr Slipper succeeded," he said.
Mr Brough rejected outright that he was pivotal in the Ashby case.
"Let me say unequivocally, I have never met with Mr Ashby's lawyers. I have never contacted Mr Ashby's lawyers, I have never paid Mr Ashby's lawyers.
"I have never sought for anyone else to pay for Mr Ashby's lawyers.
"I have never given any diary notes to any media or anyone else.
"I never put Mr Ashby in contact with any media.
"Can I be any clearer than that?"
"Sorry, I know that won't satisfy some people - but some people can't be satisfied."
Mr Brough was then asked by Palmer United Party candidate Bill Schoch whether he sought a job for Mr Slipper's media officer Karen Doane, as Clive Palmer alleged.
"Well of course I did, because I sent the resume to you," Mr Brough responded.