Former Speaker Peter Slipper.
Former Speaker Peter Slipper. Warren Lynam

Peter Slipper media adviser Karen Doane sues former MP

FORMER Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper is being sued by a second staffer with media adviser Karen Doane alleging unlawful discrimination.

Ms Doane launched the claim in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on Tuesday, claiming she had been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of her sex, her race and under the disability discrimination legislation.

Ms Doane's lawyer is high-profile workplace relations lawyer Michael Harmer, who acted for James Ashby in his unsuccessful sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper.

Justice Rares threw out Mr Ashby's claim on the grounds it was an abuse of process.

He ruled Mr Ashby, Ms Doane, Mr Harmer, and Mr Slipper's political rival, Mal Brough, engaged in a campaign to harm Mr Slipper and further their own careers.

Mr Brough, now the Federal Member for Fisher, has emphatically rejected the suggestion, saying he had only helped Mr Ashby after he came to him complaining of Mr Slipper's lewd behaviour..

Ms Doane is asking the court for a declaration that there had been unlawful discrimination and that damages be awarded by way of compensation and for any breach of contract.

The matter will be heard by Judge Nicholas Manousaridis in April, Fairfax reported.

During Mr Ashby's case, Mr Slipper conceded he may have said to Mr Ashby and Ms Doane, "can I kiss you both", but said it because he was so happy with the results of a YouTube video they had produced on the use of the parliamentary mace.

The court heard Ms Doane had emailed Mr Brough extracts of Mr Slipper's diary.

Text messages between Mr Ashby and Ms Doane refer to the "black mark" they felt was against them for working for Mr Slipper, after his supported the ALP to win the role of Speaker, given their ambitions to work for the LNP.

Mr Slipper was forced to step down as Speaker after lewd texts between him and Mr Ashby were released.

Mr Ashby appealed to the Full Federal Court against Justice Rares' decision but a decision is yet to be handed down.


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