'Journalism at its worst': Thomson
BESIEGED MP Craig Thomson has said "enough is enough" after news surfaced A Current Affair had obtained an interview with a Sydney prostitute claiming he had been a client.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his controversial statement to the parliament on Monday, Mr Thomson told reporters in Canberra such an interview "was always going to happen", adding the media was "collectively responsible".
"This defies credibility that you are going to spend $60,000 to buy an interview from a prostitute," Mr Thomson said on Thursday.
"This is journalism at its worst."
ACA executive producer Grant Williams released a statement after Mr Thomson's press conference denying paying for the interview.
"... we want to emphasise that no-one has received any payment from A Current Affair," Mr Williams's statement read.
Mr Williams confirmed an ACA investigation into Mr Thomson's time with the Health Services Union had "uncovered additional claims, not previously reported or to our knowledge investigated elsewhere".
"On that basis, we attended Parliament House in Canberra and met with Mr Thomson. In the interests of absolute fairness and transparency, we presented our information to him, in an "off the record" conversation conducted in his office," the statement read.
"We have not published or broadcast a story. In fact, our investigation is ongoing."
In a rare media appearance, a clearly distressed Mr Thomson pleaded to be left alone.
"Let's be real about this. I have consistently said from the start I have done no wrong doing. I continue to say that," he said.
"We are going through these investigative processes. Let's not descend even further into the gutter.
"What do people actually want? Are they looking to try and continue to incite the sort of hate mail that we're getting?
"Is this about trying to push someone to the brink?"
Mr Thomson's alleged fraudulent behaviour while at the helm of the HSU is the subject of at least nine
investigations, including one by parliament's privileges committee.
The 11-member committee, which has been charged with determining whether the Member for Dobell misled the parliament with his statement on Monday, met for the first time on Wednesday night.
Labor MP Yvette D'Ath, who chairs the committee, felt compelled to address the parliament early on Thursday after it became apparent details of the meeting had been leaked to the media.
She signalled her intention to pursue the matter with members of the committee.