Committee to consider statement

PARLIAMENT'S Privileges Committee will consider whether embattled MP Craig Thomson misled the House of Representatives with his 59-minute statement on Monday.

Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne tonight successfully moved that the matter be referred to the privileges committee.

The government's Leader of the House Anthony Albanese did not oppose the motion, but expressed his concern at the precedent it could create.

 Mr Pyne issued a statement tonight saying the "public expects us to do no less".

 "The opposition has maintained that it is uniquely a matter for the parliament to determine its own actions and protect the integrity of the institution," the statement read.

Mr Thomson on Monday delivered his long-awaited statement to the parliament in response to allegations he spent almost $500,000 of members' funds while national secretary of the Health Services Union.

He maintained his innocence, refuting the findings of Fair Work Australia's four-year investigation, and accused high-ranking HSU officials of setting him up.

Earlier the Thomson saga was the subject of a matter of public importance in the House of Representatives.

Key independent Rob Oakeshott expressed his anger over the delay in Mr Thomson addressing the parliament, saying it should have happened a year ago.

He said the delay had "done damage to the parliament".

Mr Oakeshott called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to outline what would happen next in dealing with Mr Thomson.

Topics:  craig thomson parliament

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