Buccholz hopes Thomson is cleared
FEDERAL MP Scott Buccholz says he hopes embattled Labor backbencher Craig Thomson is cleared of any wrongdoing.
Mr Thomson has come under fire about the alleged misuse of union-issued credit cards issued to him when he headed the Health Services Union between 2002 and 2007.
Parliament has heard allegations Mr Thomson – who denies any wrongdoing – used union credit cards for escort services, dinners and accessing more than $100,000 from ATMs.
Mr Buccholz, the Member for Wright, which covers the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim, said he had “a close working relationship” with Mr Thomson.
“I am a member of the Government's economics committee, which until the other day he chaired,” Mr Buccholz said.
“The Prime Minister has a number of times said she has the utmost confidence in Thomson and for his sake I hope he vindicates that - that he's fine - because he not a bad bloke.”
Nevertheless, Mr Buccolz called for more transparency about Mr Thomson's case that he said wouldn't be tolerated if the government had a comfortable majority in the parliament.
“No-one wants this to turn into a political witch-hunt,” he said.
“But the longer they stay silent, the longer the Prime Minister refuses to make comment, there's more speculation and more discrepancies about these credit card transactions.
“A week ago I would have said this would be dead in 24 hours. But the fact that it's not dying means there's something there.”
Labor MP Shayne Neumann said Mr Thomson was entitled to the presumption of innocence.
“We've got gross hypocrisy and double standards here by the coalition,” Mr Neumann said.
“It's grubby politics with a huge splash of hypocrisy.
“This is a matter for the police and the opposition should stop trying to treat the law as a political plaything.
“That's what happens in fascist and communist states not in western democracy. The opposition is on a slippery slope and they should not be doing this.”