Gillard comments on shock jock examined
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop has called for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to be referred to the powerful privileges committee over comments she made about radio presenter Michael Smith.
Ms Gillard told parliament in November last year that Mr Smith was "the man who was sacked for wanting to defame me".
She said he was behind Ms Bishop's line of questioning about the prime minister's involvement in the Australian Workers' Union slush fund affair.
Mr Smith's right of reply letter to these comments were read into Hansard on Thursday morning.
"It is untrue that I was sacked," his letter stated.
"I resigned from Fairfax Media (radio 2UE).
"It also is false that I wanted to defame the prime minister."
Under the rules for right of reply for people outside of parliament, the committee does not treat the reply as a judgment on the truthfulness of either of them.
"While Mr Smith has been given the right of reply and a certain degree of natural justice ... I believe the committee should be given the opportunity to judge the truth of the statements at issue made by the prime minister to the parliament," Ms Bishop told parliament on Thursday.
She asked Speaker Anna Burke to determine whether a prima facie breach of privilege had occurred that should be referred to the privileges committee.
Ms Burke said she would consider the matter.
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