Parents of James Ashby call for showdown with Slipper
THE angry parents of former Peter Slipper staffer James Ashby have called for a public debate with the controversial MP, saying they are sick of their name being dragged through the media.
Darryl and Colleen Ashby fronted reporters on Thursday, saying it was time to end the "cheap political point scoring".
"For these past 18 months my wife and I, in fact, and my whole family have not said a word to the media about the ongoing court action over sexual harassment claims brought against Slipper by our son James, leaving it to the judicial system to work through it," Mr Ashby said.
But they said Mr Slipper's call for a public debate with Mal Brough on the issue was the "last straw".
"Since it is our name on that challenge, it is us he can debate.
"So we challenge you Peter Slipper to a public debate, no holds bar, speak the truth debate, it will shock you, next Friday night at the Beerwah RSL or community hall or in the street, I don't really care.
"I expect nothing less than a yes or no public answer to the challenge.
"I said to James that's it, we are going to say something, and he strongly suggested we don't but we can only take so much.''
Mr Ashby rejected conspiracy claims that his son was an LNP plant in Mr Slipper's office.
He said his dad, James' grandfather, told him of the day James got the job.
Mr Ashby thought that as media advisor he was going to show Mr Slipper in a better light as he believed he was being portrayed wrongly.
"He soon learned he got that wrong."
"It's also being reported yesterday that the case had failed that James had brought against him, it is still on appeal and the judges have reserved their decision.
Despite the parent's concerns, Mr Slipper again challenged Mal Brough to debate him over his role in the failed Ashby litigation.
"I understand that Mr Brough has refused to debate me on this issue clearly indicating to the voting public that he has something to hide,'' he said in a statement late today.
"The matter is all about the fitness of Mal Brough to stand for office at the September 7 poll and whether he should continue to retain LNP endorsement," he said.
"I call upon Tony Abbott to demand Mal Brough be stripped of his LNP endorsement."
"While as a parent I can understand that parents would want to support their children, this matter is not about Mr and Mrs Ashby but rather about Mal Brough's fitness for office."
"On this basis it would be entirely inappropriate to debate Mr and Mrs Ashby when it is Mr Brough along with others whose actions have been the subject of adverse findings in the Federal Court by Justice Rares."