Mal Brough apologises to Parliament for “60 Minutes” interview

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

Special Minister of State Mal Brough managed to bypass the wrath of the Labor Party by offering his apologies to the parliament on Wednesday for the comments he made on the “60 Minutes” program on Tuesday. The newest developments have emerged amid pressures by the Labor to investigate Brough’s role in the downfall of former Speaker Peter Slipper.

"Yesterday during question time I said, 'In relation to the 60 Minutes interview, what was put to air was not the full question,'” Brough told the chamber on Wednesday morning. “Mr Speaker, my recollection of the interview was that the question was put to me in a somewhat disjointed manner, and I answered the question without clarifying precisely what part of the question I was responding to.”

Brough added, “Mr Speaker, I have taken the opportunity to review the tape and transcript, and apologise to the house if my statement yesterday unwittingly added to the confusion rather than clarifying the matter.”

The Australian Federal Police is investigating if Brough had any role to play in getting former staffer James Ashby to copy the diary of the then-speaker, Slipper, in the year 2012.

In an interview with Channel Nine in 2014, Brough admitted that he did ask Ashby to do the task for him. On Tuesday, the entire transcript, as well as the vision of the interview, was released by “60 Minutes” in which the interviewer Liz Hayes was shown fumbling for words while asking Brough the question. After the question was put across to him, he admitted to it. But after the release of the interview, Brough told the Parliament that "what was put to air was not the full question.”

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