Staffer paid out up to $500,000 over affair with senior minister officially lets Scott Morrison speak about her case – after PM refused to discuss it
- Rachelle Miller releases Govt from being unable to speak about their settlement
- The former staffer of Lib MP Alan Tudge accused Tudge of abuse during affair
- The matter was eventually settled between the government and Ms Miller
The former staffer of embattled MP Alan Tudge who accused him of abuse has released the government from being barred by confidentiality from speaking about a financial settlement from the Commonwealth.
In a letter sent from her lawyers to the federal government, Rachelle Miller said she wished to removed any impediment to the government releasing details about her settlement, worth a reported $500,000.
Ms Miller accused Mr Tudge of emotional and physical abuse during a consensual affair between the pair, allegations which the MP has strenuously denied.
Rachelle Miller (pictured), the former staffer of embattled MP Alan Tudge who accused him of abuse, has released the government from being barred by confidentiality from speaking about a financial settlement from the Commonwealth
A review into the allegations found Mr Tudge did not breach ministerial standards, but the matter was settled between the government and Ms Miller.
While Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to answer questions about the confidential settlement – telling Radio 2GB recently ‘I can’t make any comment on that … (the matters are) appropriately at arm’s length from me’.
However, Ms Miller said she released the government from being bound by the confidentiality agreement.
‘Ms Miller wishes to remove any impediment which prevents the prime minister from giving a full and truthful account of matters he now feels constrained to avoid answering on account of any legal obligation to Ms Miller,’ the letter from her lawyers said.
‘One of the recommendations of the Jenkins review was the discontinuance of so-called secret settlements. Our client is on record as supporting all of the Jenkins review recommendations.’
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins conducted a review of workplace culture in Parliament House and reported widespread accounts of bullying, harassment and allegations of assault.
Ms Miller accused Mr Tudge (left) of emotional and physical abuse during a consensual affair between the pair, allegations Tudge has denied. A review found Mr Tudge did not breach ministerial standards, but the matter was settled between the government and Ms Miller
The letter from Ms Miller’s lawyers also said details about the confidential settlement were likely leaked by the government, not due to Ms Miller or any of her lawyers disclosing the information.
‘The leak has caused our client acute stress and embarrassment as well as significant harassment by the media which continues,’ the letter said.
‘In the context of the election campaign, our client sees no end to this harassment until the matter is satisfactorily addressed.’
Mr Tudge stood down from cabinet in the wake of the allegations and last month indicated he would not seek to return to the frontbench.
However, Mr Morrison came under fire this week for saying Mr Tudge was still a part of the cabinet and would be ‘welcome to return in a full capacity at any point’.