Benson-Pope Says Nothing New In Wishart Article
By Selwyn Manning - Scoop co-editor
Cabinet Minister, David Benson-Pope, has hit out at Investigate magazine saying the latest article supposedly exposing "for the first time" information that he made girls stand outside in the cold in their nighties is sensationalist and "very selective".
Through his press secretary, Mr Benson-Pope said: "This material has been available for months. It was thoroughly looked at by Police. They decided to take no action. There is no new material (in the Investigate magazine article). Investigate magazine has been very selective in what it has published," Mr Benson-Pope's press secretary said.
Scoop Media understands that Investigate editor, Ian Wishart, had not sought a response from Mr Benson-Pope nor his office prior to publishing, and had not alerted Mr Benson-Pope's office to the fact that his magazine was about to publish an article regarding the matter.
Ian Wishart's article stated: "Former pupils of Labour cabinet minister David Benson-Pope have told police he made 14 year old girls strip down to underwear and nighties and stand in the cold while he watched for up to an hour.
"The latest issue of Investigate magazine contains never-before-published detail of other incidents involving the Labour MP, as part of a battle by Investigate to gain access to some still-confidential police files on the Benson-Pope case," Ian Wishart writes.
David Benson-Pope has faced a political storm since denying in Parliament that he had stuffed a tennis ball into the mouth of a student while Mr Benson-Pope was a teacher in the 1980s. A police investigation into the matter found that there was a prima-facie case but that it would not press any charges against the MP.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: All details were published by Scoop in December 2005, and can be read via these files…)
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