Slipper speculation appals Hockey

Senior Coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey has called for an end to the public commentary over the sexual harassment accusations made against Speaker Peter Slipper.

''Frankly, when there is an allegation of sexual harassment, it should be left to the courts without all of this speculation around it and any attempts to intimidate the staffer around it,'' Mr Hockey said yesterday.

James Hunter Ashby, a staffer in Mr Slipper's office, has lodged documents in the Federal Court accusing the Speaker of sexual harassment.

Mr Slipper, who is also being investigated over his use of Cabcharges, has stood aside as Speaker. He denies the allegations. The Gillard government suspects a link to the opposition and has called on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and house leader Christopher Pyne to explain what they knew about the allegations.

Former Howard minister Mal Brough, who is seeking Liberal National Party preselection for Mr Slipper's Queensland seat of Fisher, on Saturday revealed he had advised Mr Ashby and even organised his legal advice in the weeks before his legal claim was filed.

Overnight, Foreign Minister Bob Carr tweeted: ''This Ashby seems more rehearsed than a kabuki actor''.


Mr Hockey has hit out at the commentary and says the case should be left to the courts.

''I'm appalled at the more recent comments from the Foreign Minister that seek to discredit the complainant,'' Mr Hockey said.

''I'm quite appalled at the debate going on at the moment, trying to treat this guy as a political football.

''It's got to stop.''

Meanwhile, the Greens called yesterday for a federal corruption busting body. Greens leader Christine Milne says a federal independent commission against corruption would police how politicians claim entitlements.

''Certainly, I think integrity is a critical issue in the parliament and the Greens have had a proposal for some time for an integrity commission - a new ICAC, if you like, at a federal level,'' Ms Milne said. AAP