Clark Fails To Tell The Dover Story Straight
Helen Clark has today come up with a new version of her involvement in the Dover Samuels affair, Acting National leader Wyatt Creech said today.
"Her handling of this affair had already raised serious questions about her judgement. Now she has added to the confusion by admitting that her office was in the loop and talking to the Police well before Richard Prebble sent his letter on Tuesday.
"Last week she told Parliament and the media that she acted on the affair because she got a letter last Tuesday from Richard Prebble, who she accused of being an 'accomplished scaremonger.'
"And she praised Mr Samuels for going on the front foot and taking the matter to the police.
"Now she says her staff went directly to the police when Mrs Rako faxed her on Friday 16 June.
"It's inconceivable to suggest staff contacted the police about a sexual allegation concerning a Cabinet Minister without talking to her.
"So what's changed? Which story is true? Why didn't she tell us this last weeK?
"This isn't leadership. The public expects Helen Clark to show some leadership and tell the story straight. At best she been economical with truth," Mr Creech said.
Helen Clark's changing stories
Helen Clark in Parliament, Wednesday 21 June 2000: “Last evening I received a letter from Mr Prebble outlining these allegations again. I discussed the allegations with Mr Samuels, he assured me again that the serious allegations were not true. Notwithstanding that, Mr Samuels said the best course was to place the matter in the hands of the police where it now lies for investigation at the request of Mr Samuels and the matter having been referred on by Mr Hawkins.”
Helen Clark on Holmes, Wednesday 21 June 2000
“What happened was that Mr Prebble wrote me a letter. I've been around a long time, I know Mr Prebble's modus operandi. I know that if you do not front-foot an allegation like that right now, Mr Prebble will selectively leak information to build up a case of smear against Mr Samuels. We discussed the matter last night with the Cabinet Secretary and with the Attorney General. Mr Samuels believed the best thing he could do was to place the matter in the hands of the police, where of course it should have been placed 14 years ago if there was any substance.”
Helen Clark in Parliament today, Tuesday 27 June 2000
“Mr Speaker, as I said the letter was received on Friday. Staff were in contact with the police. The events that then followed were - on the Friday, they were in contact with the police. The events that then ensued were that on Monday Mr Samuels received a call from the Holmes show indicating that they were in receipt of allegations. Mr Samuels was also advised that Mr Prebble knew of the allegations. On Tuesday I received Mr Prebble's letter. It was clear that the matter was increasingly in the public arena, at which point Mr Samuels himself put the matter in the hands of the police and took leave.”