Slipper skips Question Time for a glass or two of red wine
FORMER Speaker Peter Slipper's fondness for a red wine during parliamentary sittings has got him into hot water again after he was spotted drinking during Question Time.
Mr Slipper admitted to News Limited he turned up to the staff dining room during question time and had at least "one and a half glasses" of Pepperjack cabernet sauvignon.
The wine retails for about $22 a bottle at Dan Murphy's, while News had a $35 price tag on it.
News Limited reported seeing Mr Slipper sit alone at the table and drink the wine for at least 40 minutes.
He was absent from the entire sitting of Question Time.
Mr Slipper claimed he had met with "someone" to talk about funding for his electorate and then subsequently took three phone calls.
The Sunshine Coast MP, who is fighting Cabcharge fraud charges over Canberra winery tours, vigorously denied being drunk.
"What is wrong with me having a glass or two of wine?"
Mr Slipper is well known on the Sunshine Coast for drinking red wine and has been previously put under the microscope by his local newspaper, the Sunshine Coast Daily, after claims he was drunk during a sitting of Parliament.
Most famously, in 2003 Qantas staff refused to allow him to reboard a Darwin-bound plane at Gove, where it had stopped for refuelling, because of his behaviour towards staff.
The MP blamed a combination of dental drugs, a "couple of drinks" and a flight attendant's bad day.
"I wasn't in any way, shape or form, drunk,'' he said at the time.
He did acknowledge he may have been guilty of over-reacting to what he perceived was poor service.
In 2004, on the weekend he survived a pre-selection challenge from Alexandra Headland barrister Glen Garrick, he copped a black eye after an unexplained scuffle at a Mooloolaba nightspot.
Then in Canberra on May 9, 2007, police were called to the Holy Grail restaurant and wine bar at 3.30am after a man threw Mr Slipper out onto the street for having a cigarette in breach of new no-smoking rules in restaurants and bars.
Mr Slipper denied he had ended up on his back, saying he had slipped.
A manager at the bar confirmed Mr Slipper's version that he had only gone to the bar for a glass of wine when the man, who had been acting strangely earlier in the night, intervened.
In 2010, Mr Slipper was caught napping during Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's historic address to Parliament. The photo was leaked to the Daily and made headlines nationally.
Mr Slipper denied it was the result of him having a few drinks at the official function beforehand.