Mal Brough.
Mal Brough. Brett Wortman

LNP mum on funding for Brough in lawsuit

THE Liberal National Party has refused to reveal if it will help fund Member for Fisher Mal Brough's legal defence in an $800,000 lawsuit initiated by Clive Palmer.

Mr Palmer claims Mr Brough indirectly and wrongly said he "had lied" during a media conference during the election campaign.

Lawyers for the billionaire mining magnate launched defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court in early September.

Mr Brough declined an interview with The Daily, but confirmed yesterday on ABC Coast FM that he had responded to the legal action.

"I had 28 days to lodge my defence and I have done that, well, I've done the work with my lawyer," he said.

"We will defend that case very vigorously."

It is not known if the LNP will contribute to Mr Brough's court costs.

"LNP does not comment on internal party matters," an LNP spokesman said.

The legal stoush is based on whether Mr Brough had asked Mr Palmer to help pay for the sexual harassment case launched by former Peter Slipper staffer James Ashby.

The defamation documents claim Mr Palmer said on August 22 that there was in fact a request for funds.

Mr Brough later that day denied any such request and suggested Mr Palmer's public position on the matter had been "inconsistent".

Mr Palmer's lawyers argue that this denial had damaged Mr Palmer's reputation by insinuating he "had lied to the voters of Australia" and that he "lacked honesty and integrity".

However, documents from Mr Brough's lawyers argued that the words "in their ordinary meaning" were "incapable of conveying" the insinuations.

Mr Palmer is seeking $355,500 in general damages and a further $450,000 in aggravated compensatory damages.

The legal events occur while Mr Palmer is still locked in a battle with the LNP's Ted O'Brien to secure election victory in the neighbouring Fairfax electorate for his Palmer United Party.

Travis Schultz, of local law firm Schultz Toomey O'Brien, said that the case could take between six months and two years to resolve, depending on the "combatative nature of the participants".

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