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Australian parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has stepped down following a sexual harassment scandal.

Slipper has been accused of sexual harassment concerning a male staffer, as well as having a criminal case brought against him over the alleged illegitimate use of travel expenses.

Earlier today he tweeted his thanks to those how are supporting him and his wife, Inge, amid the allegations.

"Thanks to all those who have offered strong support to Inge and me at this time,” he posted on Twitter.

“Much appreciated.”

However, opposition leader Tony Abbott has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of "making light" of the situation.

"She just doesn't get it when it comes to the seriousness of this," Abbott said.

Gillard, meanwhile, said that she did not "claim to know Mr Slipper personally or well but I formed a professional judgement that he [is able] to do the job [of Speaker]".

However, Slipper has claimed repeatedly in the past to have received backing from Abbott in political matters, stating in a past interview: "Tony said to me he would back me for whatever seat I ran for.''

This claim has been denied.

Picture: Getty


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Parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper in sexual harassment scandal
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