Government stands by royal commissioner Dyson Heydon

UPDATE: ATTORNEY-General George Brandis has given his unwavering support to Dyson Heydon after the royal commissioner refused to sack himself from an investigation into union corruption.

In his 67-page judgment, Justice Heydon said the unions had failed to prove that a "fair-minded lay observer" would consider him biased for agreeing to deliver the speech.

Senator Brandis said the Federal Government was pleased with the decision.

"Without having to even read the reasons, because I know Justice Heydon's reputation, I am very confident that the reasons will be the espousal of the appropriate legal principles and his applications of those will be very strong," Senator Brandis told Sky News.

Senator Brandis had recommended Justice Heydon lead the commission.

"I wanted someone to head this commission whose reputation was so strong, whose integrity was so unshakable that they would be able to stand all the mud being thrown at them," he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Prime Minister Tony Abbott should have taken action.

"It has been shambolic - it shouldn't have got to this question today whether the royal commissioner has to recuse himself," Mr Shorten said.

"Mr Abbott should have sorted this matter out some time himself some time ago."

Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop said Mr Heydon was under attack from people with one agenda.

"Those who are leading the charge against Dyson Heydon are determined to stop an investigation into systemic corruption and bad behaviour on the part of corrupt union bosses," she said.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said Mr Heydon's actions had hurt the royal commission.

"Now with the doubts about perception of bias with the royal commissioner, I think it really does bring the credibility of the royal commission into doubt," she told the Seven Network.

 

2:00 PM Dyson Heydon to stay on royal commission into trade unions

DYSON Heydon will continue his role investigating corruption among the country's trade unions.

The Royal Commissioner said he would not step aside from the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption moments ago.

"I have considered all of the submissions and in my opinion the applications must be dismissed," he said of the united push to out him.

The ACTU, CFMEU and AWU  called for the former High Court justice to step down after they found out that he accepted an invitation to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Mr  Heydon was accused of giving the perception of bias, or being biased, for agreeing to take part in the  event.

Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop on Monday said Mr Heydon was under attack from people with one agenda.

"Those who are leading the charge against Dyson Heydon are determined to stop an investigation into systemic corruption and bad behaviour on the part of corrupt union bosses," the  Foreign Minister said this morning.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said Mr Heydon's actions had hurt the royal commission.

"We have spent $80 million of taxpayers' money on the royal commission," Ms Plibersek told the Seven Network.

"Now with the doubts about perception of bias with the royal commissioner, I think it really does bring the credibility of the royal commission into doubt."

- APN NEWSDESK



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