JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Hooker scandal was a set-up: Thomson

Date

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Thomson claims HSU officials set him up

MP Craig Thomson appears on Network Nine claiming Fair Work's findings against him were wrong and the whole "hooker" debacle was a set-up.

PT0M0S 620 349

Federal MP Craig Thomson says the Health Services Union (HSU) scandal was part of an elaborate sting designed to stymie his burgeoning political career.

The whole executive knew what my credit card numbers were. 

"I was in a very dysfunctional union for a long time and in about 2004, amongst a whole range of other threats that were made to me, one was that they would ruin my potential political career ... by setting me up with hookers," Mr Thomson told the Nine Network today.

Craig Thomson ... "I made some enemies".

Craig Thomson ... "I made some enemies". Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

He said the threat was repeated to him in 2007.

"Someone else repeated that this is what we do to get people within the HSU," Mr Thomson added.

"In 2004 it was made by a union official ... It was a union official who was still a current union official."

No shake up ... Tony Abbott.

No shake up ... Tony Abbott. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Mr Thomson said he would expand on details about the official during a speech to parliament on May 21.

Mr Thomson faces numerous serious allegations relating to his time as head of the HSU between 2002 and 2007, including that he misused union funds to pay for prostitutes, travel and lavish meals.

But the federal member for Dobell insists someone within the union set him up.

Asked how payments for prostitutes were made on credit cards he controlled and his driver's licence details and signature appeared on receipts, Mr Thomson said the HSU executive had access to all of his details.

"The whole executive knew what my credit card numbers were," he added.

"My driver's licence was readily available."

Mr Thomson said there was resentment directed towards him within the HSU after he set up finance committees, improved financial transparency and introduced budgets after 2002.

"This created resentment and you can see what's happened since I left, they've actually closed down the national office.

"They were not very happy with oversight that was there.

"I also made some enemies as I was leaving by strongly recommending that my successor not be my successor."

Mr Thomson, who was suspended from the ALP on April 29 and now sits as a cross-bencher, maintained his innocence.

‘‘I have always, consistently said over a dozen occasions ... that I deny any wrongdoing in relation to these issues.’’

He admitted approving payments to an escort agency via a credit card that he controlled - but says he did so unwittingly.

‘‘I approved all the payments from the union but there’s one thing to say you approve something and one thing to say you approve it with knowledge,’’ he added.

‘‘And I clearly didn’t approve it with knowledge at all.’’

Mr Thomson said the Fair Work Australia report into his conduct and that of others within the HSU was based on hearsay.

‘‘There isn’t evidence that would be admissible in court,’’ he said.

Mr Thomson's explanation of his alleged misuse of union funds cannot be believed and is only being maintained as an alibi so Prime Minister Julia Gillard can continue to rely on his support in parliament, Opposition leader Tony Abbott said in Sydney today,

Mr Abbott said at a press conference today: "I don't think anyone believes his story. Fair Work Australia didn't believe his story and I don't think the Australian public will believe his story either."

"This story is to essentially to provide the Prime Minister with an alibi. It's all about giving Julia Gillard an alibi so she can keep clinging to his vote (in parliament).

"Really the question for the Prime Minister is 'did Craig Thomson tell her himself this story and is that why, for so many months, she has been declaring full confiedence in Craig Thomson'.

"Mr Thomson must now provide a complete and candid explanation to the parliament, to the people of Australia and those agencies investigating "this whole sordid squalid mess.", Mr Abbott said

Trade Minister Craig Emerson says investigations against Mr Thomson should be allowed to run their course and the opposition should not set itself up as judge and jury.

Dr Emerson said Mr Thomson was under investigation but had not been charged.

‘‘Let those investigation take their course and let’s not have politicians appointing themselves as judge and jury,’’ he told Sky News.

‘‘Let the independent agencies, whether it be the police or anyone else who has a legitimate interest in these as independent agencies, do their work without the parliament being heavied by Mr Abbott saying there now needs to be a vote to exclude Mr Thomson from the parliament.’’

Dr Emerson accused the coalition of applying a double standard.

He said three MPs in the former government faced investigation for theft from the Commonwealth through misuse of printing entitlements.

‘‘At no stage did Labor say they are not entitled to vote,’’ he said.

‘‘Mr Abbott as leader of the house and Mr Howard as prime minister said ... they were entitled to the presumption of innocence and the investigative processes should be able to go to conclusion. It’s the same principle.’’

Dr Emerson said he sincerely hoped the parliament didn’t go down the path where politicians could vote other politicians out of parliament and deny the people of their electorate representation because of some allegation.

‘‘That would be terribly destructive for our democracy,’’ he said.

AAP and Jim O'Rourke

Related Coverage

Thomson claims HSU officials set him up (Thumbnail) Thomson claims HSU officials set him up

MP Craig Thomson appears on Network Nine claiming Fair Work's findings against him were wrong and the whole "hooker" debacle was a set-up.

Thomson claims he was set up (Thumbnail) Thomson claims he was set up

Controversial MP Craig Thomson speaks publicly for the first time, on Saturday, since a damning report into his time as head of the HSU.

Thomson excuse just an 'alibi' for Gillard

Labor MP Craig Thomson's explanation of his alleged misuse of union funds cannot be believed and is only being maintained as an alibi so Prime Minister Julia Gillard can continue to rely on his support in parliament, Opposition leader Tony Abbott said in Sydney today.

Thomson's alternative reality didn't fit the facts

Welcome to the world of Craig Thomson: a parallel universe in which what is real for the member for Dobell bears remarkably little resemblance to reality.

Police raid Craig Thomson's home

Police have raided the Bateau Bay home of embattled Federal MP Craig Thomson.

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo