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Allies stay loyal to government

Key independent politicians said they stand by Australia's embattled government after the parliamentary speaker temporarily stepped aside over allegations of sexual harassment and fraud.

The opposition called on independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to bring down the minority government with a no-confidence vote in response to the scandal enveloping the government's choice of House of Representatives speaker, Peter Slipper.

Mr Slipper stepped aside from the job on Sunday while police investigate allegations levelled by a former staffer that Mr Slipper misused taxi payment vouchers while travelling by limousine in Sydney.

The same staffer has launched a civil suit alleging Mr Slipper only employed him in pursuit of gay sex. Mr Slipper denies the allegations.

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