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Extent Of PM's Cover-Up Revealed

New information about the wide-ranging contacts between the Labour Party and the family of the woman involved in the Dover Samuels affair has shown the Prime Minister's judgement to be far more compromised than we first believed, Acting Opposition Leader Wyatt Creech said today.

"It is now clear that she has been silent in the face of repeated attempts by the woman's family to bring the story to the Labour Party's attention.

"It is now obvious that many members of caucus knew about the affair. It's not credible to believe none of them told her.

"We thought she had displayed an appalling lapse of judgement by doing nothing other than asking Dover Samuels to give her an assurance.

"It's much more serious than that now. She ignored successive attempts by the family calling for action.

"After all the attempts to get Labour to take the issue seriously, action only came when the allegations were brought to her by another political party.

"She smelled political danger and decided to act. That's not leadership, that's not standards. It is damage control at the eleventh hour when she knew the cover-up could not last any longer.

"Helen Clark still seems to wants to dismiss the whole affair with the view that sex between teenage girls and men three times their age is somehow common or acceptable, that allegations about MPs are common, and that the family in question is not credible.

"Her attitude is an insult to everyone involved. It is time for her to show some leadership and take the affair seriously," Mr Creech said.

Ends

The Facts Made Public so far

December 1999 Mother discovers relationship

January 2000 Chris Carter's electorate office approached by mother with allegations (National Radio, 23 June)

Govt. whips informed (National Radio, 23 June)

Clark made aware of allegations involving Samuels and teenager (National Radio, 23 June)

Clark receives assurance from Samuels there is nothing to the allegations (National Radio, 23 June) Blackmail threats raised with Clark (Question time, 22 June)

Threats of sexual abuse allegations being exposed on Waitangi Day.

February 2000 Dover consults Tamihere (National Radio, 23 June)

March 2000 Mother fails to front at meeting planned with Chris Carter and Dover Samuels (Newztalk ZB, 23 June)

Sexual Abuse Centre, Whangarei raises allegations with Chris Carter MP. (Newztalk ZB, 23 June)

Late May/Early June 2000 Mother approaches Annette King's electorate office. (Newztalk ZB, 23 June)

Friday June 16 Uncle sends letter to PM's Office (National Radio, 23 June)

Sunday June 17 Prebble approached

Tuesday June 19 PM holds late night meetings with Attorney General et al over allegations

Wednesday June 20 Samuels stands aside and hands allegations to Police.


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