From bad to worse … Craig Thomson. Photo: Andrew Meares
Federal MP Craig Thomson says he’s been told the Nine Network’s A Current Affair is planning to air an interview with a prostitute who claims he was a client.
Mr Thomson has told News Ltd that the producer of ACA spent 90 minutes in his parliamentary office yesterday to seek his response to the claims from the anonymous prostitute.
News Ltd reports it’s understood the prostitute was paid $60,000 for the interview.
Advertisement: Story continues below
Mr Thomson said he was told the woman had identified him from a photo and said he had refused an offer to view a DVD of the interview.
“They said they have got the tape if you want to see it. I asked them if they paid for the interview and they said ‘yes’,” Mr Thomson was quoted as saying.
He said: “To buy a story from a prostitute is chequebook journalism at its worst.
“Who is going to take this seriously when they pay a prostitute money?
“It has absolutely no credibility.”
The program’s producer, Grant Williams, has not made any comment about the planned expose or when it might be broadcast.
The program may not be aired until next week, according to the report.
Mr Thomson also claimed ACA had offered to pay his wife “a substantial amount of money for an interview”.
ACA is yet to confirm the claim.
A Fair Work Australia report says Mr Thomson, who was HSU national secretary from 2002 until his election as a Labor MP in 2007, misused members’ funds for escorts, lavish meals and electioneering.
The MP, who is suspended from the ALP caucus, denies the allegations.
The parliamentary privileges committee is charged with examining whether Mr Thomson misled parliament when he addressed the allegations on Monday.
The committee met for the first time on the matter last night.
It could decide to call witnesses, including current Health Services Union officials and an industrial investigator, to test Mr Thomson’s statement.