Food star furore claims one Abbott scalp: Nash next in line

Senator Nash last week accepted "with regret" the resignation of her chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, who has been embroiled in the row over the taking down of the website after just 20 hours of operation.

Mr Furnival co-owns the lobbying firm Australian Public Affairs, operated by his wife Tracey Cain, which represents food industry opponents of the website, including Kraft and Cadbury.

Labor had insisted there had been a serious breach of the ministerial staff code of conduct, and Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong accused Senator Nash of misleading parliament in her explanations over the website's removal.

Senator Nash is now expected to face renewed questions over her handling of the matter from Labor and the Greens at next week’s Senate estimates hearings.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, health policy expert Professor Mike Daube of Curtin University, intensified the attack on Senator Nash, claiming the affair had &ldquo