Further stunning allegations at today’s Atkinson-Ashbourne Select Committee hearing were another nail in the political coffin of Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
Ms Edith Pringle gave evidence today of a phone conversation with Mr Atkinson in November 2002 in which she claimed Mr Atkinson told her the defamation actions with Mr Ralph Clarke were not proceeding because ‘a deal had been done.’
Ms Pringle told the Committee:
“I asked Michael Atkinson about the nature of the deal, and he told me that it involved board positions for Ralph. When I asked him which boards were involved, he said that WorkCover would probably be one. I expressed my disapproval to Michael in fairly robust terms, and his response to me was that it was out of his hands. He said that the instruction to settle had come from higher up.”
To back her claims, Ms Pringle tabled a copy of her telephone records which showed two telephone calls on 15 November 2002 from her phone number to the Ministerial office of the Attorney-General.
“Ms Pringle is yet another witness whose evidence strongly disputes the position put by Mr Atkinson,” Mr Lucas said today.
“Mr Atkinson has become increasingly isolated on this issue and it is clear there is virtually no support at all for Mr Atkinson on these issues.
“Mr Atkinson now has to come out of hiding and appear before the Legislative Council Select Committee to defend himself against the continuing series of serious accusations against him.”