The Indianpost

Thomson credit card questions prompt call

THE federal opposition has called for the police to start an investigation into the Labor MP Craig Thomson, saying that if the MP’s denials of credit card misuse were true, then a crime has been committed by somebody else.

The shadow attorney-general, George Brandis, was commenting following fresh revelations in yesterday’s Herald that phone calls to brothels were made from Melbourne hotel rooms hired by Mr Thomson and paid for by his union credit card.

There were two instances, both in 2006, when Mr Thomson was the national secretary of the Health Services Union and before he entered Parliament in 2007.

These were in addition to existing allegations that his card was used to make more than $100,000 in cash withdrawals during his time as union boss and that he used the card to pay for escort services in Sydney.

Mr Thomson has denied all previous allegations, saying other people had access to his card, and he said those published yesterday were ”completely untrue”.

“I have denied these allegations before, there is nothing there that is new at all,” he said while on his way to chair a parliamentary committee hearing. ”I am about to go in and continue to do my work representing the people of Dobell in this Parliament.”

Senator Brandis, who is leading the Coalition pursuit of Mr Thomson, said it was time for the police to become involved.

”If Thomson’s story is true and his signature was forged, a crime has been committed against him,” Senator Brandis said.

”If it’s not true, a crime has been committed by him. Either way, a crime has been committed. It’s now high time for the NSW police to commence an investigation.”

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, concurred, saying ”on the face of it, there is a lot that needs to be fully investigated by official bodies”.

Mr Abbott concentrated his fire on the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who is standing by Mr Thomson: ”What I would never do is express full confidence in a member without asking questions. I would be demanding answers.”

Ms Gillard again expressed her confidence in Mr Thomson yesterday but confirmed her staff had spoken to him on Thursday. It is understood he was quizzed about fresh allegations about the quality of the evidence he gave to a Fair Work Australia investigation into his credit card use

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