Peter Slipper
Peter Slipper

'Different versions' of incident

CONTROVERSIAL House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper has inquired into "an alleged minor incident" between one of his staffers and a Daily journalist and found "there are different versions" of the incident.

Adviser James Ashby knocked a mobile phone from Owen Jacques' hands as he filmed an interview with Mr Slipper on Friday.

Mr Jacques had asked Mr Slipper about his expenses claims.

Requests yesterday for an interview with Mr Ashby, who was at work, were ignored by Mr Slipper's office.

In a prepared statement, Mr Slipper did not outline the "different versions" of the incident.

"I do not know exactly what happened as I did not see anything," he was quoted as saying.

"I would certainly not condone what is alleged to have happened.

"Even journalists from the Sunshine Coast Daily should be treated with respect."

The statement did not say what Mr Slipper, a solicitor, would do if the Daily's version of events was proven in law.

Staff from WIN Television confirmed Mr Jacques' version.

Queensland news director Phil Hind told the Sydney Morning Herald that WIN reporter Sarah Sinclair saw Mr Ashby "bat" the phone out of Mr Jacques' hands.

Daily Editor-in-Chief Mark Furler said the 28-year-old reporter had done nothing to antagonise Mr Slipper's staff and had merely asked a question.

Police had been asked to review the incident.


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