Prime Minister Helen Clark came out all guns blazing over attacks on her husband Professor Peter Davis at today’s Post Cabinet Press Conference, but ended calling for a truce with the opposition on the involvement of spouses in political mudslinging.
Miss Clark began her press conference today strongly criticising National MP Wyatt Creech’s comments about her husband’s involvement in a $750,000 research project on the health reforms. The allegations were “ridiculous” and “scurrilous”, she said.
“My husband has a distinguished 31 year career..He doesn’t deserve the scumbag attack he has had from Mr Creech,” she said.
Asked if their was perhaps a perception problem in her husband’s involvement with the contract Miss Clark replied that it could only appear that way to the “ignorant”.
Miss referred the media to an interview given this morning by the Health Research Council’s Jane Holden on the complex procedures the organisation undergoes in order to prevent any bias creeping into research.
She also said that her husband Professor Davis had undertaken two large research projects under the previous National Government.
Miss Clark said her husband had no intention of getting involved in politics now as a result of the criticism. That said he had invited Mr Creech to come to Christchurch and hear about what the research project was really about.
Ms Clark was then asked whether there was a difference between the comments made about her husband, and those made by her Minister Trevor Mallard about Mary-Jane English and Rosemary Bradford last week, allegations that subsequently proved to be unfounded.
Miss Clark replied that she understood Mr Creech had been plotting his attack on her husband for some time. However, she said she would also be happy to have a truce with National if that was possible.
Q: Had their been any cease-fire negotiations yet?
“I would be happy for Mr Creech to sue for peace, yes. A good start would be for him to accept my husband's invitation.”
Q: Does this mean she is prepared to meet with Mr Creech and discuss a truce on the involvement of spouses in political mudslinging?
“I would like to serve the peace. I am happy to meet with Mr Creech to discuss that, yes,” the Prime Minister said.