Brough never asked me to steal Slipper's diary, says Ashby

JAMES Ashby has denied being part of an apparent plot by Sunshine Coast MP and Special Minister of State Mal Brough to procure confidential diaries from then-MP Peter Slipper.

Mr Ashby told Alan Jones on Sydney Radio on Tuesday that "never at any point did Mal Brough ask me for copies of those diaries".
 

However, Mr Brough has previously admitted in a 60 Minutes interview that he asked Mr Ashby for the pages, with the view that Mr Slipper was acting improperly.

In that interview, Mr Brough was asked by journalist Liz Hayes whether he asked Mr Ashby to make copies of the diary.

"Yes I did," he replied.

The Coalition is now being quizzed on the "Ashbygate" saga in Question Time.

Under questioning from the Opposition, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has confirmed he knew in advance that the Australian Federal Police would raid Mr Brough's home.

He then told Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's chief of staff and the Attorney-General "after the warrants were executed".

Mr Ashby told the radio personality it was Longman MP Wyatt Roy who - under the advice of cabinet minister Christopher Pyne - instructed him to duplicate the diary.

Mr Brough later asked for a clearer copy that would be easier to read, Mr Ashby said.

 

The latest comments come as Mr Ashby had his home raided by Australian Federal Police as part of an ongoing investigation into the theft of confidential documents.

Mr Ashby said it was a waste of taxpayer money.

Mr Roy told ABC Radio his interactions with the former Slipper staffer were public knowledge.

"James Ashby came to me with very serious allegations of sexual harassment, very upset," Mr Roy said.

"I found out how he could make a complaint, passed that on to him, suggested he should talk to a lawyer, and the next I heard about it was when I read it in the media."



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