Govt steps up heat on Brandis after Slipper case thrown out

THE Federal Government is stepping up pressure on the Coalition after James Ashby's sexual harassment claim against former speaker Peter Slipper was thrown out of the Federal Court this morning.

Education Minister Peter Garrett told reporters in Sydney shadow attorney general George Brandis had "serious questions to answer" in relation to the matter.

It was the precise line put forward by a spokesperson for Attorney General Nicola Roxon not an hour earlier.

"The person who now has to answer serious questions is the shadow attorney general, Senator Brandis," Mr Garrett said.

"He was the one that made a call in this case when he shouldn't have. He's the one who needs to answer the questions now because it's clearly been an abuse of process and the court has found accordingly."

Senator Brandis has been highly critical of Ms Roxon's handling of the matter, particularly after the Commonwealth reached a $50,000 settlement with Mr Ashby in October.