I don't know Slipper that well: PM

Peter Slipper returns to Brisbane after an overseas trip into a political storm.
Peter Slipper returns to Brisbane after an overseas trip into a political storm. Seven News

UPDATE: PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she did not know Peter Slipper "personally or well'' when she appointed him as Speaker.

Ms Gillard today spoke publicly for the first time since allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of taxpayer-funded travel surfaced about Mr Slipper.

Mr Slipper announced on Sunday he was standing aside as Speaker while allegations he misused Cabcharge dockets were investigated.

But the Member for Fisher, who was elected Speaker in controversial circumstances in November, plans to return to the role once those inquires conclude, even while one of his former staffers, James Ashby, pursues compensation in the Federal Court over alleged sexual harassment.

Click here to read the original court documents.

Ms Gillard  told journalists in Singapore Mr Slipper's decision to stand down as Speaker "was the right one".

But she attempted to sheet home responsibility for Mr Slipper's alleged behaviour to the Coalition.

"I expect Mr Abbott to be negative about everything," she said.

"If he's going to be negative about everything he's going to be negative about this.

"(But) as he spews forth with that negativity (he) would need to recognise that Mr Slipper was pre-selected by the Coalition on nine occasions.

"There is a relationship with these pre-selection matters and Mr Abbott's leadership - that is, Mr Slipper was pre-selected as recently as the last federal election and was a candidate ... under Mr Abbott's leadership."

Ms Gillard said she did not know Mr Slipper "personally or well" when she supported his promotion to Speaker.

"I formed a professional judgment about his ability to do the job," she said.

Ms Gillard said Mr Slipper had done a good job as Speaker during a "raucous" time in the Parliament.

And she said his elevation to the role, which brought with it a significant pay rise, had been good for the country.

"Having Mr Slipper be speaker has enabled the government to do some important things on behalf of Australian families," she said.

Albanese talked to Slipper on role

THE Leader of the House of Representatives Anthony Albanese says he spoke to Member for Fisher Peter Slipper before he stepped aside from his role as Speaker.

Mr Slipper on Sunday announced he would step aside from his role as Speaker, after criminal allegations of fraudulent cab charges were levelled against him by a former staffer.

Leader of the House and Infrastructure Minister, Mr Albanese on Monday confirmed he had had numerous conversations with Mr Slipper in the past 48 hours.

"I have spoken to Mr Slipper; I don't detail my conversations with any of the independent members of the parliament as a matter of course," he said.

"But as Leader of the House, yes, I have had conversations with Mr Slipper."

Mr Albanese said he did not try to influence Mr Slipper's decision to step aside, and that it would have been inappropriate for him to do so.

I'll be back in the chair soon, says Slipper

THE Federal Government is under mounting pressure to re-open the books on Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper amid new allegations he has misused his expense entitlements.

Mr Slipper yesterday stood aside as Speaker of parliament but indicated he was confident he would soon be back in the chair, despite allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of cab charges.

The Daily understands new questions will be raised today about Mr Slipper's expenses including taxi fares being incurred while the MP was in another location.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph has today detailed an alleged breach of Commonwealth laws which prevent MPs from spending entitlements on party business.

Mr Slipper claimed more than $3000 for a trip to Hobart to speak at a fundraiser for a good friend in a Tasmanian state seat. She lost.

Mr Slipper also claimed more than $3000 for a trip to interview a electorate officer, the newspaper reported.

The Australian Federal Police have confirmed they are investigating what have been described by observers as "clear cut breaches of entitlements".

Last year, the Daily reported how in just five weeks after federal parliament rose for its winter recess in 2010, Mr Slipper clocked up more than $20,000 in airfares, taxis and Commonwealth car use.

In the past, Mr Slipper, who flew home yesterday after yet another overseas trip, has been ordered to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in expenses.

In January, Mr Slipper claimed he had been cleared of wrongdoing over his 2009 spendathon but refused to release the official report by the Department of Finance.

The Daily has since lodged a Right To Information request that the full details of the investigation into his expenses, be made public.

Last week, this newspaper was notified the report may be released.

A ruling by the department's legal affairs unit found that "release of the documents could promote the Australian community oversight of public expenditure information".

The Daily has been investigating Mr Slipper for more than two years, amid outrage from residents about tens of thousands of dollars being spent on limousines, taxis and Commonwealth car travel.

Questions have been particularly raised about why the MP continues to travel to Canberra via Sydney.

In that time, politicians on both sides have continued to cover for Mr Slipper, despite rumours swirling around Canberra about alleged inappropriate behaviour and misuse of expenses.

Allegations of sexual harassment and misused cab charges were filed in the Federal Court against Mr Slipper, 62, by his former aide James Ashby, 33, on Friday.

Mr Slipper has emphatically denied the claims which include that he hired Mr Ashby to pursue him sexually, that he asked Mr Ashby to shower with the door open, and exchanged suggestive texts with him.

Mr Ashby claims Mr Slipper insisted he stay with him at his Canberra flat.

Mr Slipper allegedly said his adviser Tim Knapp and other staff usually stayed there.

Australian National University Professor of Politics Dr John Uhr said the Peter Slipper scandal highlighted the "lack of a code of conduct for Federal parliamentarians".

"The Federal Parliament is still a bit old-fashioned, almost all of the states have devised a code of conduct or members' conduct guide, so that's one of the problems."

Dr Uhl said he was not aware of any previous Speaker in Australia being the subject of similar allegations.

In a written statement, Mr Slipper said he believed it was appropriate to stand aside while criminal allegations of cab charge fraud were resolved.

"Once it is clear they (the allegations) are untrue, I will return to the Speakership," he wrote.

With Mr Slipper standing aside, he will not be able to vote on the floor of the House.

Crucially, it means the Labor Government's majority is further reduced, and the government's agenda could be more easily threatened by minority groups and independents.

Independent Andrew Wilkie and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott both called for Mr Slipper to stand down.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to comment before Mr Slipper's statement was released.

But after his announcement, the Prime Minister's office released a statement saying that it was appropriate that Mr Slipper stood aside during the criminal investigations.

Independent MP Tony Windsor said Mr Slipper was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

"We do have a judicial system. We don't try people in our parliament," he said.

"The allegations are serious, there's no doubt about that but they are not proven and everybody has that right of due process."

Topics:  mp parliament peter slipper sexual harassment speaker

Making steps for 'Blacky' in Walk 4 Brain Cancer

Karen Kraemer and Wendy Black will be selling raffle tickets at Grafton Shoppingworld next Thursday and Friday as they build up to Team Blacky's entry into the November 5 Walk4Brain Cancer.

Team Blacky aims to better $5000 to battle brain cancer.

Meet the Pacific Highway team: Part 2

Claire McCarry from Pacific Complete.

Here if your chance to meet some of the new faces in the Clarence

Local Partners

Meet the faces behind the highway upgrade: PT I

MEET communications advisor Colleen Catterson in the first part of the DEX's new series introducing people who have moved to the region due to the highway.

Sound of Music star to compere An Afternoon at the Proms

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment shows, from left, Chairmian Carr, as Liesl, Nicholas Hammond, as Friedrich, Heather Menzies, as Louisa, Duane Chase, as Kurt, Angela Cartwright, as Brigitta, Debbie Turner, as Marta, Kym Karath, as Gretl, and Christopher Plummer, as Captain Von Trapp, in a scene from the film, \"The Sound of Music.\" The 1965 Oscar-winning film adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical \"The Sound of Music\" is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015. To honor the milestone, 20th Century Fox is releasing a five-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD collector's edition, the soundtrack is being re-released, the film will be screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood later this month and to over 500 movie theaters in April. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Saraton's rich history of stage and screen honoured in musical tribu

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Scene set for explosive racing in revamped 9-Hour G-Bomb

First on his bike was Michael Brown at the 2014 G-Bomb Mountain Bike Race held in the Bom Bom State Forest.November 8, 2014Photo: Leigh Jensen / Daily Examiner

More than 250 riders heading to the forest for annual G-Bomb.

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

The Summer that Melted Everything

See what happens when you invite the devil to town

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge