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New move against Craig Thomson

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The government is pursuing disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson for misleading parliament, a move the opposition says is a stunt.

Leader of government business Christopher Pyne had foreshadowed the move against Mr Thomson.

But it was Liberal backbencher Karen McNamara, who replaced Thomson as the member for the NSW Central Coast seat of Dobell last year, who on Monday initiated action by asking Speaker Bronwyn Bishop to refer the case to the house’s privileges committee.

Thomson, a former Health Services Union national secretary, won Dobell for Labor in 2007 only to be enmeshed in allegations of misusing a union credit card.

In 2012 he moved to the cross bench after being suspended from the Labor caucus by then prime minister Julia Gillard.

On February 18 a Melbourne magistrate found Thomson guilty of theft and fraud, including using the credit card to pay for sex, and is now awaiting sentence.

Mrs McNamara said there was a prima facie case Thomson had misled parliament when he made a statement to it on May 21, 2012 in which he protested his innocence and advanced alternative theories.

Mrs Bishop said she would consider the matter.

A spokesman for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the case had already been referred, with Labor support, to the privileges committee.

It was put on hold while judicial proceedings were underway.

“This just highlights the pathetic stunts that Christopher Pyne will play,” the spokesman told AAP.

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