Australia speaker steps aside amid gay sex scandal

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_791495.html

Australia speaker steps aside amid gay sex scandal

Published on Apr 22, 2012

A file photo taken on Mar 1, 2002 shows Australia’s parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper (right) at Coolum during the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM). — PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s parliamentary speaker stood aside on Sunday following claims he sexually harassed a male staffer and misused taxi services in a case that could hurt the nation’s fragile government.

Weekend reports alleged Peter Slipper harassed former staffer James Ashby, including telling him to shower with the door open when he stayed at his home, and ‘moaning’ in a sexual manner after asking him for a massage.

The married Slipper, 62, was also accused of misusing taxpayer-funded taxi services. The ABC said 33-year-old Ashby, who is openly gay, had launched legal action under the Fair Work Act detailing alleged explicit text messages, unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate comments towards him.

Separate reports said he was seeking compensation in the Federal Court as well as orders for his former employer to undergo counselling and anti-discrimination training. 

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