Albanese’s comments 'hypocrisy'

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has rejected allegations the Coalition played any part in a alleged politically-motivated sexual harassment case against sidelined Speaker Peter Slipper.

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese this week called on Mr Abbott to "come clean" on any dealings members of Queensland's LNP may have had with staffer James Ashby in the lead up to the complaint being made.

He also questioned why Mr Abbott had a press release "ready to go" the morning the public woke to news of the allegations.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Mr Abbott labelled Mr Albanese's comments as "more distraction and hypocrisy from a desperate and rotten government".

"This is in stark contrast to Julia Gillard and her ministers who have not answered questions about the Labor Party's involvement in the Craig Thomson scandal, what involvement they had in recruiting Mr Slipper to the speakership, and the involvement of the Prime Minister's office in instigating the Australia Day riot and the ongoing operation of a tax-payer funded dirt unit in the Prime Minister's own office," the spokesperson said

"At all times Tony Abbott has been up front, honest and transparent about this issue."

Mr Abbott has maintained the "key issue" in the controversial case is whether or not Mr Slipper sexually harassed Mr Ashby.

The spokesperson went as far to say the Federal Government "does not take the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace seriously".

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday Mr Albanese said sexual harassment was serious but should not be used as a "political plaything".

"If someone has a sexual harassment issue there are appropriate issues and appropriate ways for them to be dealt with - that should happen," Mr Albanese said

"What shouldn't occur is that people who've held senior positions in public life and aspire to do so, play politics with such an issue."

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