MP’s brothel bill threatens Australia’s Gillard govt

CANBERRA, (Reuters) – A political scandal involving a  government MP over payments to prostitutes, which threatens  Australia’s minority government,  deepened on Wednesday when the  lawmaker’s former union asked police to investigate his union  credit card bills.

The move by the Health Services Union (HSU) increases the  likelihood that police will launch a criminal investigation   into the credit card bills of the union’s former boss Craig  Thomson, now a government MP, including payments to a Sydney  brothel.

Thomson has denied any wrongdoing. But if police decide he  can be charged with a criminal offence of which he is then found  guilty, he would be forced to leave parliament, sparking a  by-election that could bring down Gillard’s government which has  a one-seat majority.

The union had previously not complained about Thomson’s  credit card bills, which meant police had limited scope to  investigate the payments.

But yesterday, the union’s new national secretary Kathy  Jackson said the union had now referred Thomson’s credit card  use to police in the New South Wales state.

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