INDEPENDENT federal member for New England Tony Windsor and The Nationals Senator John Williams have traded barbs over former speaker Peter Slipper's resignation on Tuesday night.
Mr Windsor said yesterday Mr Slipper had done the right thing by resigning.
"I acknowledge the difficult but sound decision of Mr Slipper to resign as Speaker of the house," Mr Windsor said.
"I confirm that I have spoken personally with Mr Slipper and, in my view, he has made the correct decision."
But Senator Williams on Tuesday night blasted Mr Windsor and another independent, Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott, for initially standing by Mr Slipper.
"Today, the member for New England, Tony Windsor, and the member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, stood by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, in the face of damning evidence," Mr Williams said.
"Both independents voted with the government against a Coalition motion to have Mr Slipper removed as Speaker of the House.
"News reports of what can only be described as vile and disgusting text messages between Mr Slipper and a former staff member have shocked Australians. They expect and deserve a much higher standard of behaviour from their parliamentarians, but Mr Slipper has shown he is not fit to hold such an important office.
"It disappoints me that both Mr Windsor and Mr Oakeshott, men who I presume have high morals and who demanded more transparency and accountability from this Parliament, have slipped behind the Labor government defences once again.
"They have attempted to absolve themselves of all responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the Parliament."
But Mr Windsor said Senator Williams did not understand the finer points of Tuesday's drama as it played out.
Mr Windsor said he and Mr Oakeshott were in a meeting with Mr Slipper at 2pm, about the same time Mr Abbott's motion was being voted on, and they had advised Mr Slipper the honourable thing to do was to resign.
"We felt his capacity to become Speaker again had diminished, irrespective of these court cases (over the sexual allegations and Cabcharge claims)," Mr Windsor said. He said he'd told Mr Slipper: "If you don't resign we'll have to support the motion."
"I'm a bit offended by Williams's remarks ... (he) would have had no idea that those negotiations were going on," Mr Windsor said.
He said it was more honourable for Mr Slipper to resign than be "executed in the house".
"I've never operated (on) when the man's down, you kick him," Mr Windsor said.
"I believe it was a better way of achieving the objective, rather than treating him like a mongrel. John Williams might feel quite comfortable with driving people over the edge, in terms of their emotional state, but I don't."
Would Mr Slipper stay on as an independent backbencher?
"He says he is but he might change his mind and say he's had enough," Mr Windsor said.