Tony Abbott defends Commissioner speaking at Libs’ event

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has defended Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon, who has been called on to resign over a Liberal party fundraiser.

Justice Heydon had agreed to speak at an annual New South Wales Liberal Party fundraiser this month but pulled out yesterday when the story became public.

A spokesman for the commissioner said: "If there was any possibility that the event could be described as a Liberal Party event he will be unable to give the address, at least whilst he is in the position of royal commissioner."

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said if Justice Heydon had accepted the invitation he should resign his post leading the royal commission into trade unions.

Mr Dreyfus has long maintained the commission is a "witch-hunt" aimed at discrediting Labor leader Bill Shorten and his predecessor Julia Gillard.

Mr Abbott defended Justice Heydon's reputation in Question Time, describing him as "above reproach".

Manager of Opposition business Tony Burke disagreed.

"He is conflicted, he is biased, the royal commission is a farce," he said.

The Greens called for the royal commission to be immediately terminated.

 


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