Federal Politics

Labor escalates Jamie Briggs affair through Public Service Commissioner complaint

Labor is escalating its pursuit of dumped frontbencher Jamie Briggs over the leaking of a photograph of an Australian diplomat whose complaint led to his resignation.

Shadow special minister of state Gary Gray has written to the Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd demanding to know what steps have been taken to address a breach of the woman's privacy.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dismisses calls to investigate the leak of a photo of the female public servant at the centre of the Jamie Briggs affair. Vision courtesy ABC News.

"I seek your assurance that there will be no further harm to the complainant for having raised this matter, and that her privacy will be protected," Mr Gray wrote.

Mr Briggs resigned last week after the female public servant claimed he had kissed her neck and said she had "piercing eyes" during a drinking session in a Hong Kong bar.

Dumped minister Jamie Briggs.
Dumped minister Jamie Briggs. Photo: Chris Pearce

Labor is also demanding Mr Lloyd investigate whether the Turnbull government delayed Mr Briggs' resignation to provide a cover for Mal Brough's standing aside as Special Minister of State while the police investigation into his role in the Peter Slipper affair continues. 

The opposition also wants to know how much two internal inquiries into Mr Briggs cost, when they began and a clear timeline of the events.


A photo of the woman at the Hong Kong bar was published in a News Corp newspaper following the cities minister's resignation. Mr Briggs confirmed the photograph was taken on his phone and he distributed it to colleagues but denies leaking it to the media.

The leak was seen as an attempt to discredit the woman. It was published alongside text messages to Mr Briggs' chief of staff, Stuart Eaton. 

When resigning, Mr Briggs declared he would not be naming the woman at the centre of the complaint to protect her privacy.  

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said protecting the woman's privacy had been his "primary concern" from the outset but resisted calls for an inquiry into the leak, saying investigations of journalists' sources are rarely fruitful.

It is not known whether the Public Service Commissioner will agree to Labor's requests.

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