Labor attacks Brough at Question Time but fails to censure Malcolm Turnbull over Slipper diary controversy

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Special Minister of State Mal Brough Mal Brough/twitter.com

The last Question Time of the year before the summer break, is being targeted by the Labor to double efforts to sack the Special Minister of State Mal Brough. The minister, on the other hand, said the opposition is acting ignorant to the facts, after being attacked by the questions. While Labor continues to pile up pressure on the embattled minister, it has, however, failed to censure Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for appointing Brough as the special minister of state.

On Wednesday, Brough apologised to the parliament for adding to the confusion by saying that the question aired by the “60 Minutes” program was not complete. He denied that during an interview in 2014, he apparently admitted asking former staffer James Ashby to procure the then-Speaker Peter Slipper’s diary. The opposition has been accusing Brough for the downfall of the former speaker and demanding his resignation.

However, Labor’s move to draw the desired response from the prime minister failed, as Turnbull moved on to deliver his valedictory speech summing up the government’s year.

On Thursday, a censure motion was moved by Labor in the House of Representatives as the first order of business in the chamber.

Mark Dreyfus, shadow attorney general, said that Brough had deceived the parliament over his interview on the “60 Minutes” program on “three separate occasions this week,” the Guardian reported.

The motion moved by Dreyfus on Thursday aimed at censuring Turnbull “for failing to enforce his own criteria for taking action and sacking the special minister of state for repeatedly misleading the parliament.”

Dreyfus added that the prime minister cannot ignore “admission to a serious crime” by one of his ministers in a television interview. According to Brough, Slipper was suspected of committing fraud against the Commonwealth. The statement had been rejected by a court earlier this year on Slippers’ appeal.

The Brough-Ashby matter is being investigated by the Australian Federal Police and entails a jail term of two years.

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