Speaker Trevor Mallard apologises over rape allegation in wake of Parliamentary bullying inquiry

Speaker Trevor Mallard has apologised and accepted he was incorrect to describe allegations made in Parliament's 2019 bullying review as rape.

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It ends a long defamation battle in which taxpayers have footed the bill. Source: 1 NEWS

In May 2019, a five-month review into bullying and harassment in Parliament found harmful behaviour by and between staff, managers, MPs, media and the public.

Mallard "made a number of comments to the media about the findings of that report and in particular as they related to an individual working at Parliament", a statement released by the Speaker today said. 

"Some of Trevor Mallard's comments gave the impression that allegations made against that individual in the context of the Francis Review amounted to rape.

"Trevor Mallard accepts that his understanding of the definition of rape at that time was incorrect and that the alleged conduct did not amount to rape (as that term is defined in the Crimes Act) and that it was incorrect of him to suggest otherwise. 

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Mallard apologised "for the distress and humiliation his statements caused to the individual and his family". 

It was revealed in June taxpayers had paid out at least $80,000 as Mr Mallard defended a defamation claim over his comments.